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Bilateral meetings on human rights in Iran

The Director-General for Legal Affairs at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Anders Rönquist visited Tehran, Iran on the 18-19 November 2013 for bilateral meetings on human rights and consular affairs.

Among issues raised by Sweden were the use of the death penalty, the situation for political dissidents and human rights defenders, freedom of expression, online as well as offline, the universality of human rights and the human rights situation for women and LGBT persons.


During the visit Mr Rönquist also met with Narges Mohammadi, who received the Per Anger Prize in 2011 for her persistent and public struggle for human rights and women's freedom in Iran.

Global challenges and the future of Europe

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is in the United Arab Emirates to attend to the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda.

"The regions are taking on an increasingly important role and multiregionalism will complement multilateralism to an ever greater extent as a cornerstone of the international system. This is about integration, trade and various forms of deeper political cooperation," said Mr Bildt during a panel discussion on global challenges.

Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and Sida Director-General Charlotte Petri Gornitzka. Photo: Catarina Axelsson/MFA

Close development cooperation with US

Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström today received USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. The visit is another step in the increasingly close cooperation between Sweden and the United States concerning development issues, particularly new and innovative forms of aid.

Following the meeting, a joint press conference was held with Rajiv Shah, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and Niklas Gustavsson, Executive Vice President of Volvo Group. A joint Swedish-US initiative on innovation and a new three-party cooperation scheme aimed at creating jobs in African countries were presented at the press conference.

Follow the meeting on Storify: Keep her safe - Protecting girls and women in emergencies. See link below.

Protecting girls and women in humanitarian emergencies

Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström is in London for a meeting on protecting girls and women in humanitarian emergencies.
Participants will also discuss the humanitarian operation following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

"Protecting women and girls from violence must be a top priority for the UN and other actors. Various kinds of measures are needed in crises such as those in Syria and the Philippines to increase the level of protection. Women's rights must be respected," says Ms Engström.

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Promotion of Swedish literature in focus

November in the month for literature in Minister for Trade Ewa Björling's promotion calendar. In 2013, some 140 literary activities will be undertaken by Swedish embassies around the world. Although it is difficult to put a numerical value on Swedish literature, there is an obvious interest for Swedish literature and Swedish authors. The focus this year is on new markets where Swedish literature is not yet so well known, such as China, Russia and Latin America. A new feature this year is the Nordic mystery weekend in Paris, with Jens Lapidus, Maj Sjöwall and Anna Jansson as guests.

Ewa Björling attended the meeting of Nordic cooperation ministers. Ewa Björling attended the meeting of Nordic cooperation ministers. Photo: Sara Lööf/UD

Björling and Bildt in Nordic Council of Ministers meeting

Alongside Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, Minister for Trade Ewa Björling, who is responsible for Nordic cooperation, also took part in the 65th Session of the Nordic Council in Oslo on 29-31 October.

Ewa Björling met Nordic trade ministers

On Wednesday morning, a meeting of the Nordic trade ministers was held. The discussions included the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). All of the Nordic ministers expressed cautious optimism that the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali would be successful, and they all agreed on the great economic importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Bildt chaired meeting of Nordic foreign ministers

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt chaired the meeting of the Nordic foreign ministers held on Wednesday as part of the 65th Session of the Nordic Council in Oslo. Sweden is leading the informal Nordic cooperation on foreign affairs in 2013.
Ghana and Sweden serve as co-hosts of the GAVI meeting in Stockholm. Photo: Erik Wirkensjö/MFA Ghana and Sweden serve as co-hosts of the GAVI meeting in Stockholm. Photo: Erik Wirkensjö/MFA

International vaccine meeting in Stockholm

Sweden and Ghana serve as co-hosts when the GAVI Alliance presents its Mid-Term Review report on 30 October in Stockholm. Some 180 representatives of GAVI's donor and partner countries are expected to attend the meeting.

Carl Bildt at Barents Euro-Arctic Council meeting in Tromsø. Photo: Erik Zsiga/MFA Carl Bildt at Barents Euro-Arctic Council meeting in Tromsø. Photo: Erik Zsiga/MFA

Carl Bildt participates in Barents Euro-Arctic Council meeting in Tromsø

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is visiting Norway on 28-30 October. There he is attending the 14th session of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council in Tromsø and then the foreign ministers meeting at the Nordic Council session in Oslo.

Sweden praised for aid transparency

Sweden was ranked among the ten most transparent countries and organisations as regards aid when the British organisation Publish What You Fund presented its Aid Transparency Index on Thursday. The 2013 index looks at 67 organisations and countries, including several UN organisations.

Hillevi Engström welcomes new UN resolution

Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström welcomes the new resolution on women, peace and security adopted by the UN Security Council.

- Highlighting the role of women in peace-support efforts is a priority issue for the Government. I therefore particularly welcome this resolution that so clearly highlights the importance of supporting women's participation and influence, says Ms Engström.