Nordic Forum Malmö 2014 - New Action on Women's Rights is being organised by women's rights movements in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Around 16 000 people are expected to attend the forum in Malmö on 12-15 June to set the agenda for future gender equality policy. The forum programme and discussions are based on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
The Government has today decided that Sweden will ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty seeks to set the highest possible common standards to make the international trade in conventional weapons more responsible. Under the treaty the parties are obliged to introduce national control systems to eradicate the illicit and unregulated trade in arms.
State Secretaries from the Nordic Plus Group, consisting of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands, are meeting in Oslo today, 12 June, to discuss current aid policy issues. Sweden is represented by State Secretary Tanja Rasmusson.
On the agenda are some of the most central current issues within international development cooperation, including which development goals to include on the post-2015 agenda and how they should be financed. Part of the discussion also concerns the ongoing OECD/DAC work to define aid criteria. Efforts to strengthen sexual and reproductive health rights will also be discussed.
The Horn of Africa is one of the regions in Africa at an economic turning point. In Somalia - a country marked by long periods of conflict and where great challenges still remain - it is possible to discern a growing optimism. The Conference on Somali Business Opportunities in Stockholm aims to highlight and provide information on business opportunities in Somalia as a step towards enabling trade and investment in the longer term.
Björling met Philippine trade secretary
On Monday 9 June, Minister for Trade Ewa Björling met Philippine Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory L. Domingo. The Philippine economy is among the most dynamic in Asia. At present, the country's economy is the fourth largest in Southeast Asia, growing by 7.2 per cent last year and with a strong outlook for the coming years as well. Today, trade and investment are at the core of the relationship between Sweden and the Philippines, which was previously characterised by development assistance. President Aquino is now carrying out an ambitious reform programme to combat the extensive corruption in the Philippines. Some 40 Swedish companies are represented in the country, and a Nordic chamber of commerce was established in 2012.
Minister for Trade Ewa Björling is visiting Barcelona, Spain on 4-6 June. The agenda includes presentation of the Swedish candidacy for the 2019 Alpine World Ski Championships. Dr Björling will also take part in a seminar: Silicon Valhalla - Swedish innovation.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is today participating in celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of Poland's democratic liberation. Other guests include US President Barack Obama and the newly elected President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. In the evening, Mr Bildt will join his Polish colleague Radek Sikorski in presenting the first Solidarity Award, which will go to Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Djemilev.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will visit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on 4-5 June. The purpose of the visit is to participate in two conferences that are being organised, on Sweden's initiative, on the future of Ukraine and the region. The visit will also be an opportunity for an on-the-spot update on the situation in the country following the recent presidential election.
The severe floods in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the worst natural disaster in the region for more than 100 years. This has created a great need for assistance in the affected areas. Sweden is taking part in the relief operations, which are being coordinated by the countries concerned and the EU, together with the UN system, in which Sweden accounts for a substantial part of the funding.
The third edition of the Stockholm Internet Forum is taking place on 27-28 May. Some 450 participants from 90 countries have gathered in Stockholm to discuss how to protect internet freedom in the face of demands for greater controls and governance. The full conference could be followed online.