Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt was present as the Riksdag debated international affairs and Sweden's foreign policy on 14 October as part of the Riksdag's general policy debate. The general policy debate lasts for three days and started on Monday. During the debate, members of the Riksdag have the opportunity to speak about subjects of their choice. Mr Bildt singled out three issues that are of greatest importance to him at the moment.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt met Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans today.
The ministers discussed developments in the EU's Eastern Partnership, as well as developments in South-East Europe and Syria.
They also exchanged thoughts on internet freedom. On Tuesday, Mr Bildt will travel to South Korea where, together with 800 delegates from over 80 countries, he will take part in the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace.
On Wednesday 9 October, Minister for Trade Ewa Björling took part in Business Sweden's Middle East and North Africa Summit 2013 in Dubai, a recurring event that brings together Swedish actors in the region.
"I have encountered considerable commitment from both Swedish entrepreneurs and the people of the United Arab Emirates. We have also signed a Letter of Intent focusing on enhanced cooperation within research and innovation, and small and medium-sized enterprises. The MENA region is an important market for Swedish export industries, with exports of around SEK 43 billion in 2012, and we see continued great potential even though there are also challenges," said Dr Björling.
Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström will visit the UN in New York on 9-10 October. One of the purposes of the visit is to meet some of the heads of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to find out more about how the UN works on development issues.
- It is very important that every krona paid in tax that goes to development assistance is used in the best way, says Ms Engström.
On Friday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt spoke at the Croatia Forum in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Energy was the theme of this year's conference. Mr Bildt took part in a panel discussion on how the EU can politically secure domestic and industrial energy requirements in a safe and sustainable way. He spoke about the integrated energy market in the Nordic countries. During the Croatia Forum, Mr Bildt also held meetings with the foreign ministers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Turkey.
The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) presents its regular peer review today.
"We should be proud of Swedish development assistance. I am particularly pleased about the good rating the review gives us for the reforms carried out over the past few years. The review shows that we are on the right track. This applies not least to our focus on results. But at the same time, there is more to be done. The DAC regular peer review provides an opportunity to reflect on how we can continue to improve our aid," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström.
A State Visit from Portugal begins on 1 October, when President Professor Aníbal Cavaco Silva and his wife Mrs Maria Cavaco Silva arrive in Sweden for a three-day visit. On the first day of the visit, President and Mrs Cavaco Silva will travel through Stockholm in a carriage procession and the President will meet Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at Rosenbad, after which there will be a press conference. On Wednesday 2 October Minister for Trade Ewa Björling will host an event that will give Swedish fashion companies and Portuguese manufacturers an opportunity to meet.
At the UN meeting in Geneva today, Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström announced a new decision to channel SEK 40 million of Sweden's core support to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR to measures for Syrian refugees.
This year, the Right Livelihood Award is being awarded to four people from four continents: Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, American anti-chemical weapons advocate Paul Walker, Palestinian human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, and Swiss agronomist Hans Rudolf Herren. The winners were announced at a press conference in Stockholm on Thursday. The prizes will be awarded in the Riksdag in December.
The Westgate Shopping Mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi was attacked by an armed group on Saturday, resulting in civilian deaths. The Swedish Embassy in Nairobi has been in contact with Swedes who escaped the scene unharmed, and Embassy staff are working to obtain further information about any Swedes who may have been affected.
The attack has developed into a hostage situation. The Embassy is urging Swedes in the area to avoid public places, shopping centres and public gatherings for the time being.