The major changes faced by the world are the focus ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos. What will the consequences be for society, politics and business? This is a highly relevant theme, not least for Sweden, a small, open and strongly export-dependent economy.
Today a new Raoul Wallenberg Prize will be awarded at the headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The prize has been established in memory of Raoul Wallenberg's achievements in Budapest in 1944-45. The first prizewinner is Roma activist and documentary filmmaker Elmas Arus from Turkey. Ms Arus will receive the prize for her contributions to raising awareness of the situation of Roma and to giving discrimination against Roma greater visibility in the political debate.
On January 16-17, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt are bringing together a group of senior officials at the forefront of digital diplomacy for a 24-hour diplohack in Stockholm.
A dozen diplomats from all over the globe will work together with some of the best minds from academia and research, business and the media to produce concrete, feasible solutions for the diplomacy of the future.
The first round of negotiations on a future free trade agreement between the EU and the United States were held in July last year. The aim is to conclude negotiations by the end of 2014 or early 2015. It is very important to Sweden that we succeed.
"Ultimately, it's about making it easier for companies to offer their products and services to more consumers and businesses. A free trade agreement could provide a powerful energy boost to growth," says Sweden's Minister for Trade Ewa Björling.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), held a joint press conference on Thursday at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. The OPCW was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr Bildt and Mr Üzümcü stressed the importance of continuing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.
- We are confident that we will be able to meet the 30 June deadline of next year to complete the destruction of all chemical weapons in Syria, said Mr Üzümcü.
The Foreign Affairs Council for development cooperation issues meets in Brussels on 12 December. Discussions at the Council will cover the overarching development objectives for the post-2015 period. The ministers will also read the European Commission's report on coherence in development efforts. Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström is representing Sweden at the Council meeting.
On December 5, Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt took part in the 20th Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE). The meeting took place in Kiev, during which Ukraine handed over the Chairmanship of the OSCE to Switzerland.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt made a statement Thursday night, on the death of Nelson Mandela: "Nelson Mandela was a person who changed the world. He was deeply convinced of the equality between human beings and had an equally strong commitment and capacity for reconciliation. He chose reconciliation where others would have chosen revenge. He created a new South Africa and gave people all over the world someone to look up to and a role model."
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt commented on Twitter: "Nelson Mandela was a giant of our age. For freedom. For rights of everyone. For reconciliation. For compassion. A world in deep grief."
On 7 December it will be one hundred years since Swedish diplomat Per Anger was born. Together with Raoul Wallenberg, he saved the lives of a large number of Hungarian Jews during the Second World War. To commemorate Per Anger's deeds, a memorial tree will be planted in his honour.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) session of the Assembly of States Parties in the Hague was concluded last week. During the session, Sweden announced a new contribution of SEK 36 million for the period 2013-2015 to the Trust Fund for Victims that was established in connection with the ICC. This is the largest single contribution ever from a State party.