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.
Today Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson will present 44 new human rights reports.
The reports concern the EU neighbourhood countries - Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. These are important countries for Sweden and the EU.
In connection with the presentation of the reports, the Government's human rights website www.manskligarattigheter.se is being relaunched. It contains all the new reports as well as reports from other countries.
Minister for Integration, Erik Ullenhag, has today been taking part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg's birth in Jerusalem. He was speaking at a high-level symposium at Yad Vashem, The International Institute for Holocaust Research.
Human rights in Belarus and Syria, and an initiative on online freedom of expression presented by Sweden and others, will receive particular attention at the upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The three-week Council meeting started on Monday 18 June and will conclude on Friday 6 July after an intensive programme of work.
On Sunday 3 June Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt received US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Stockholm for discussions. Among the topics discussed were the economic situation in the EU and current foreign policy issues. Particular focus was on the difficult situation in Syria, developments in the European vicinity, as well as internet freedom issues.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has launched a new paper about enhancing Internet freedom and human rights through responsible business practices. The paper aims to stimulate collective action in relation to protecting and enhancing human rights, focusing on the freedom of expression on the Internet through responsible business practices. It lays out the challenges and opportunities involved in paving the way ahead. It draws on existing work, looks at some dilemmas the ICT sector faces and the guidance already available to businesses.
18-19 April the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Internet Infrastructure Foundation (.SE) and Sida are organising the first ever Stockholm Internet Forum on Internet Freedom for Global Development - SIF12 - an international conference on the role of internet freedom in global development. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is hosting the conference.
On April 8, it is the Roma International Day. The day is celebrated in commemoration of the First International Roma Congress in London 1971, wich marked the beginning of a co-ordinated effort to promote Roma rights at an international level. Minister for Integration, Erik Ullenhag, who also has responsibility for national minorities, sends his greetings to Sweden's Roma population.
The 104th session of the UN Human Rights Committee, which has been under way in New York from 12-30 March 2012, will conclude tomorrow. The Human Rights Committee is one of the UN convention bodies, and is tasked with monitoring whether countries comply with their commitments under the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).