Sweden has decided to provide support totalling SEK 32 million in 2012 and 2013 to the WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. Since the outset, the fund has been an important instrument for strengthening the capacity of developing countries to participate in and benefit from international trade.
"Trade is a prerequisite for creating long-term sustainable growth and thus fighting poverty in developing countries. For several years, Sweden has been the largest donor to the WTO fund to increase the capacity of primarily the least developed countries to more actively participate in trade negotiations and benefit from the advantages of the multilateral trade system," says Minister for Trade Ewa Björling.
The single market, with free movement of goods, services, capital and people, is one of the cornerstones of EU cooperation. It celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. To commemorate the occasion, we asked Minister for Trade Ewa Björling a few questions about what the single market means to Sweden, how it is affected by the financial crisis and what is happening at present. To read the interview, click the link below.
Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson will be speaking today at the London Summit on Family Planning at the invitation of British Prime Minister David Cameron and Melinda Gates. The summit aims to help an additional 120 million women gain access to family planning by 2020. Estimates indicate that this would result in more than 200,000 fewer women and girls dying in pregnancy and childbirth and nearly 3 million fewer infants dying in their first year of life.
Sweden's Ambassador for Democracy Maria Leissner was installed today as the first Secretary-General for the Community of Democracies, a global coalition of democratic countries. Ms Leissner was welcomed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a meeting of the Governing Council in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator.
Through Ms Leissner, Sweden in recent years has led a successful reform of the Community of Democracies, which has been transformed from a forum in which democracies meet into an operational hub for supporting global democratic development.
Today the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted a resolution affirming that the right to freedom of expression also applies on the internet. Sweden is among the initiative takers.
At the initiative of the EU, the Council also decided to establish a new special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus.
The 20th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which has been assembled for three weeks since 18 June, ends tomorrow. The agenda has included many highly topical global human rights issues.
This year's Ministry for Foreign Affairs seminar in Almedalen served up a highly topical discussion on democracy, human rights, trade and growth one year after the Arab Spring.
"Helping in the enormous transformation that is necessary is a huge challenge facing Europe. Otherwise, there is a risk of a new revolution - the revolution of failed expectations," said Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt at the Ministry's well-attended Almedalen seminar.
Following discussions on the participation of observers, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) conference was opened on 3 July by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr Ban Ki-moon emphasised the importance of establishing a robust and legally binding arms trade treaty aimed at regulating the legal trade in arms and suppressing illicit trade. Speakers also included the Australian foreign minister, the Japanese deputy foreign minister and the Norwegian development cooperation minister, who all emphasised the importance of a universally binding arms trade treaty. The negotiations will resume on Thursday.
Sweden comes second in the Global Innovation Index 2012 (GII) that ranks nations based on their innovation capabilities and results. The index looks at inputs such as institutions, human capital, infrastructure and business sophistication, but also at outputs in the form of knowledge creation and intangible assets etc. The GII 2012, released yesterday in Geneva, focuses particularly on the need to link the different innovation actors - governments, companies, universities and research institutions - in order to strengthen the contribution of innovation to economic growth.
The European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have today outlined the way forward for the EU's constructive engagement in the Arctic. Summarised in three words, "knowledge, responsibility, engagement", the strategy adopted today contains a set of tangible actions that contribute to research and sustainable development in the region and promote environmentally friendly technologies that could be used for sustainable shipping and mining.
Agreement was reached today at the European Council on the final outstanding issue in the negotiations on unitary patent protection, i.e. where the seat of the Central Division of the Court of First Instance of the Unified Patent Court will be situated.
The solution to the issue, which has been deadlocked since December, is that the seat of the Central Division will be in Paris, while some parts of it will be located in London and Munich.