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Swedish Social Democrats want to maintain feminist foreign policy

In the lead-up to elections in Sweden on September 9, 2018, the political parties are presenting their positions and priorities on official development assistance (ODA). Development cooperation to Palestine and the focus of the feminist foreign policy are the main points of difference between the center-conservative and the center-left parties. For the Social Democratic Party (currently in power), the main priorities include the following: 

  • continued ODA levels at 1 percent of gross national income 
  • continuation of the feminist foreign policy  
  • employment, labor rights, and income distribution policies as important components to fight poverty
  • recognition of the state of Western Sahara, but more as a long-term priority 
  • ODA support to both poor countries and poor people in middle-income countries.

Article - Omvarlden (in Swedish)

Sweden

Sweden adopts new strategy for cooperation with UN Women

The Swedish government has adopted a new strategy for cooperation with UN Women for the period 2018-2022. Sweden is a major donor to UN Women, which promotes gender equality and women's and girls' empowerment and rights worldwide. Swedish support for UN Women during the four-year strategy period is SEK536 million (US$61 million).   

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish) 

Sweden

Sweden's Center Party pushes for higher levels of bilateral ODA

As Sweden gears up for national elections on September 9, 2018, political parties are presenting their priorities on development cooperation.

In an interview in the development magazine 'Omvärlden' Ms Kerstin Lundgren, the foreign and development policy spokesperson for the Center Party and member of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, notes that from the perspective of the Center Party more official development assistance (ODA) should be channeled through the Swedish International Development Agency, Sida, instead of through the United Nations (UN) and other multilaterals, and poverty reduction should be prioritized before all else.  Lundgren lists the following topics as her party's  other priorities for ODA: 

  • Continued respect for the commitment to allocate one percent of GNI to ODA

  • 'Swedish values' should be represented in Swedish development assistance 

  • Sweden should not call its foreign policy 'feminist'

  • ODA should not be used in military actions

  • Assistance should not be withdrawn from countries refusing to receive their nationals expelled from Sweden

  • More stringent demands and increased transparency in development cooperation to Palestine

Magazine article - Omvärlden (in Swedish)

Sweden

Swedish conservative party calls for more collaboration between military and development

In the lead up to elections on September 9, 2018, political parties in Sweden are spelling out their priorities regarding official development assistance (ODA).

The largest party in opposition, the Conservative party 'Moderaterna' wants to prioritize humanitarian assistance and see a closer collaboration between military efforts with the United Nations (UN) or NATO and development cooperation. In an interview in the development magazine 'Omvärlden' Mr. Jonas Jacobsson-Görtler, the Foreign Policy Spokesman for 'Moderaterna and Deputy Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee lists the following other priorities for Swedish ODA if Moderaterna wins the elections:

  • A continued adherence to the target of one percent of GNI for ODA

  • More multilateral assistance should be channeled through the UN and the EU

  • Humanitarian assistance, support to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and support to democratic governance will be prioritized  

  • They will stop calling Swedish foreign policy 'feminist'

  • They will not withdraw assistance to countries refusing to receive their nationals expelled from Sweden

  • They want to see more stringent demands on Palestine for development cooperation to continue

  • They are supportive of an increased role for the private sector in development cooperation

Magazine article - Omvärlden (in Swedish)

Sweden

Swedish government adopts a new strategy for capacity development, partnerships, and methods in support of the 2030 Agenda

The Swedish government has adopted a new strategy for capacity development, partnerships, and methods for the period 2018 to 2022. It's goal is to strengthen collaboration with a wide range of actors, enhance program methodology, and strengthen and broaden the Swedish resource base. The activities financed under this strategy include Swedish participation in young professionals program of the United Nations (UN), the European Commission, and others. It also finances the long term bilateral 'International Training Programmes' (ITPs). New to this strategy is the support to method development for implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and also strengthened support to the Swedish resource base for development cooperation.    

Press release - Swedish Government (in Swedish) 

Sweden

Swedish government adopts new strategies for development cooperation with Uganda and South Sudan

The Swedish government has adopted new strategies for development cooperation with Uganda and South Sudan. The strategies focus on peace building, health, education, environment, and climate. The situation of women and young people within these topics has particular focus. For South Sudan the Swedish government has earmarked SEK1.5 billion (US$170 million) for the period 2018 to 2022 and for Uganda SEK2.4 billion (US$271 million) has been committed for the period 2018 to 2023.

Press release - Swedish Government (in Swedish)

Sweden increases support by US$46 million for climate and security in the Sahel region

The Swedish government has decided to allocate an additional SEK400 million (US$46 million) for the period 2018-2021 to the G5 Sahel countries, namely Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad. G5 Sahel is a regional association of countries working with cross-border issues related to development and security. The strategy has also been updated to focus on the region's climate and security issues. Sweden has ongoing bilateral development cooperation with two of G5 Sahel's Member States, Mali and Burkina Faso. Both strategies for these countries include environment and sustainable energy as priorities in development cooperation.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström recently visited Chad and Niger together with UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and has dedicated her engagement at the UN Security Council meetings on July 9-12 on the issues of women, peace, and security in the Sahel and links to climate and security. 

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish)

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish)

Op-ed on climate and security - Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish) 

Sweden

Sweden becomes largest donor to UNESCO

Sweden has become the largest donor to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s core programs, after signing a cooperation agreement that voluntarily allocates SEK430 million (US$48 million) to the organization over a four-year period. This funding comes in addition to Sweden's regular contributions to UNESCO's budget.

Focus areas of the new cooperation agreement include education, freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, promoting fundamental freedoms and diversity of cultural expressions, and data collection. In total, Sweden has pledged close to US$100 million in voluntary contributions to UNESCO's programs. 

Press release - UNESCO 

Global Sweden Education

Swedish government approves new strategy for Sweden's global development cooperation for sustainable social development

The Swedish government has approved a new strategy for Sweden's global development cooperation in sustainable social development for the period 2018-2022. The strategy will contribute to sustainable social development through improved gender equality, education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. Approximately SEK1.4 billion (US$160 million) per year over a five-year period is foreseen for this strategy. The strategy is implemented through the Swedish International Development Agency, Sida, in Stockholm.

Press release - Swedish government (in Swedish)

Sweden adopts new strategy for development cooperation with Zambia

The Swedish government has adopted a new strategy for development cooperation with Zambia for 2018 to 2022. The strategy focuses on:

  • Reduced inequality and strengthened resilience
  • Increased respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law
  • Health equity
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Nutrition
  • Sustainable environmental development, incl. climate change adaptation
  • Inclusive economic development

The strategy has been allocated SEK2.25 billion (US$257 million) and will be implemented through the Swedish Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia's capital.

Press release - Government of Sweden (in Swedish) 

Sweden