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Utrikesminister Margot Wallströms anförande vid Asian African Summit, Jakarta, 23 April 2015

Publicerad Uppdaterad

Asian African Summit, Jakarta, 23 April 2015 23 april 2015
Det talade ordet gäller.

Co-chairs, Excellencies,

It is an honour and a privilege to be here today, as you mark 60 years of Asian-African cooperation. Let me express my sincere appreciation for the invitation, and for the opportunity to be part of a meeting that gathers representatives of half of the countries of the world.

I am also happy to rediscover the beauty, hospitality and diversity of this vast country Indonesia, and to experience the consolidation of democracy and the progress made since my last visit in 2002.

Coming here, I travel in the footsteps of Sweden’s late Prime Minister Olof Palme. In the early 1950s, a few years prior to the Bandung conference, he spent three months in Asia. From here, and from Indonesia in particular, he brought back ideas of non-alignment and international solidarity. Strong ideas that influenced the Swedish Social Democratic Movement and our international policies.


This is a summit of south-south cooperation to promote world peace and prosperity. I would like to add a perspective from the north. In many ways, this is however a perspective that I believe is rather similar to yours.

Let me give three examples.

First, our solidarity with Palestine.
Among the first decisions taken by the new Swedish government was that of recognizing the State of Palestine. It was a decision taken with pride and joy. It aimed at making the parties to the conflict less unequal, to support moderation, and to provide a positive injection into the Middle East Peace Process. And it was a natural step to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people of self-determination.

My government will continue to work hard, with you and others, to do what we can to bring the peace process back on track and to create conditions for a two-state solution where Israel and Palestine can live side by side in peace and security. We want to contribute to regional security and stability.

Sweden and Indonesia yesterday agreed to deepen our cooperation to contribute to the social and economic development of Palestine. We will exchange knowledge and best practices in areas such as democracy, good governance, human rights and gender equality. For us, this is part of our long-term significant – and now substantially increasing - development assistance to Palestine.

Some have said that the Swedish recognition of Palestine was premature. I say it might be too late. Young women and men in the Middle East are about to lose hope. They need to see an alternative to violence, status quo and continuously negative developments on the ground.

This leads me to the second example of perspectives that I believe we have in common: addressing global challenges and meeting the aspirations of the youth.
We live in a globalised world where the threats to our security of course are rather different from the ones we faced 60 years ago. The interconnectedness, the ability to travel and to trade, and the constant flow of information and ideas have made the globe smaller and more prosperous. But it has also brought more complex challenges: climate change, pandemics, foreign terrorist fighters, food insecurity, and organized crime.

Non-state actors kidnap school children and behead journalists. Conflict and disasters force an incomprehensible number of people to leave their countries and homes. Democracy and freedom of speech are under pressure, and the multilateral system with its rules based order is being challenged. Extremism and radicalization illustrate that the problems we face have no boundaries.

While some countries are more severely affected than others, these are truly global issues. As political representatives of our countries we need to show leadership and courage to address these issues, to increase our international cooperation, and to do so in a way that installs hope in the youth.

We need inclusive socio-economic development that allows both young women and men to study, to find a job and to shape their own future. This is as true for Sweden and the rest of Europe, as it is for Africa and Asia. Educational and economic empowerment is also the best antidote against radicalization and terrorist recruitment. And as someone said: If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

We need to be clear on our principles and obligations. Democracy and human rights are universal values and important tools in the creation of vibrant societies. They are also indispensable in the fight against extremism and radicalization.

And we need to involve both women and men. Gender equality is not only a goal in itself, but also a precondition for our wider foreign and security policy objectives.

My third example of a shared perspective brings us back to the theme of this summit. It is the need for dialogue. South-south cooperation is an important part, I see great value also in strengthening the relations between the EU and the African Union, ASEAN, the League of Arab States and other regional organisations.

At the heart of the global dialogue is the United Nations. Strong support for the United Nations has always been – and will always be – key to Sweden’s foreign policy. Our candidacy for a non-permanent seat at the Security Council 2017 to 2018 is an expression of this. It’s been 20 years since we last served at the Council – and we are ready to assume the responsibilities that a seat on the Council implies. As a member, we would continue our engagement for the issues I just mentioned: Palestine, the youth and global dialogue.

You – the African and Asian leaders of this room – represent countries with some 75 per cent of the world population. This needs to be reflected in the composition of the Security Council. Sweden believes that emerging powers of Africa, Asia and Latin America must be provided with adequate representation in a reformed Council.

Co-chairs, Excellencies, Friends,

It is an honour to be here today. I am looking forward to continued dialogue and exchange of views in a spirit of solidarity, and wish you the best of luck with the meeting.

Thank you.

Statsråd på denna sida som har entledigats

Mellan den 3 oktober 2014 och den 10 september 2019 var hon utrikesminister.

Statsråd på denna sida som har entledigats

Mellan den 3 oktober 2014 och den 10 september 2019 var hon utrikesminister.