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Lynne Featherstone, Emilia Pires, Hillevi Engström and Zainab Bangura. Photo: Catarina Axelsson/Regeringskansliet

Freedom from violence

Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) are today co-hosting a forum on freedom from violence.
Over 150 participants from 30 organisations will take part. The UN, the World Bank, academics, think tanks and civil society organisations will discuss the links between violence, conflict, poverty and development.

On Thursday evening Ms Engström met Timor-Leste's Minister of Finance and co-chair of the International Dialogue of Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Emilia Pires, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development Lynne Featherstone and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura.

Minister for Trade Ewa Björling and Crown Princess Victoria discussing young entrepreneurship in Tanzania Photo: Jacob Birkeland/MFA Minister for Trade Ewa Björling and Crown Princess Victoria discussing young entrepreneurship in Tanzania Photo: Jacob Birkeland/MFA

Ewa Björling to Ghana and Tanzania

On 17-21 March, Minister for Trade Ewa Björling and Crown Princess Victoria are visiting Ghana and Tanzania to deepen bilateral relations and increase trade with the two countries.

Relations with Tanzania under development


Minister for Trade Ewa Björling and Crown Princess Victoria continued their African journey on Thursday in Tanzania, where they met President Jakaya Kikwete and Minister for Industry and Trade Abdallah Kigoda. The meetings emphasised the long history of relations and cooperation between Sweden and Tanzania, which in the past have largely been a matter of development assistance but are now changing as Tanzania develops.

Deal signed during promotion trip


During a promotion trip to Ghana, Scania signed a business deal with Ghana on the sale of 300 buses and accessories.
"This is a good example of a Swedish company, having identified an export opening, being backed up with industrious trade promotion by Sweden. I really welcome this deal and congratulate both Scania and Ghana," says Dr Björling.

EU imposes targeted sanctions on Russia

EU foreign ministers decided at a meeting in Brussels on 17 March to impose targeted sanctions on several individuals linked to the Russian intervention in Ukraine. The ministers also condemned the referendum held in Crimea as illegal. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt took part in the meeting.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. Photo: Johan Ödmann

"Gender equality fundamental in Swedish foreign policy"

"Working for a world of equality is a fundamental principle of Swedish foreign policy. It is a world in which everyone's rights must be respected regardless of gender, skin colour, belief or sexual orientation", says Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.

The panellists at the Swedish side event. Photo: Regeringskansliet The panellists at the Swedish side event. Photo: Regeringskansliet

Swedish side event at the 58th Commission on the Status of Women

On the occasion of the 58th CSW Sida organized the Swedish side event "The role of men and boys in contributing to the achievement of gender equality goals and female empowerment in the MDGs".

Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström. Photo: Jann Lipka Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström. Photo: Jann Lipka

"Gender equality should remain key to Sweden's policy for global development"

"Gender equality is a goal in itself and a prerequisite for long-term democratic development, poverty reduction and global development. As Minister for International Development Cooperation, I therefore consider it a matter of course that gender equality and women's role in development comprise one of our priorities in development assistance. Gender equality should also remain key within the framework of Sweden's policy for global development and is a prioritised area in the negotiations on a new global development agenda," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström.

Photo: UNFPA

"Gender equality is one of the greatest challenges of our time"

Two thirds of all work is the world is carried out by women and girls. Half of all food is produced by women and girls. But women earn only 10 per cent of the world's incomes and own 1 per cent of the world's assets. In Sweden, we want women and men to have the same ability to shape society and their own lives.

"We are not there yet, but we have come a long way. To a large extent, this is because we have created regulations and structures that make it easier to combine work with starting a family," says Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Bildt to London for discussions

Carl Bildt is to visit London on 11-12 March to take part in meetings on the EU's future, Ukraine and internet freedom. He also plans to hold talks with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Government suspends aid to Uganda

"The Government reaffirms its strong condemnation of Uganda's legislation, which violates the human rights of LGBT people. Swedish aid is not unconditional. The Government is therefore now choosing to suspend government-to-government payments still due under our current strategy for Uganda, with the exception of research cooperation," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström.

The Swedish and Danish Ministers for Foreign Affairs at the Maidan square in Kiev. Photo: Erik Zsiga/Government Offices.

Bildt visits Ukraine

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is visiting Ukraine on 5-6 March, together with Denmark's new Minister for Foreign Affairs Martin Lidegaard.

The foreign ministers will visit the capital, Kiev, and eastern Ukraine. They are expected to meet Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, members of parliament and local representatives to discuss the situation in the country and how other countries and international actors can offer support and act in the circumstances.