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Tal av Isabella Lövin vid undertecknande av samarbetsavtal med Mocambique

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Mocambique den 8 juni 2015
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Minister, ladies and gentlemen,

First let me say how delighted I am to be here in Maputo today. Over the past few days I have met a lot of people and seen their hard work for continuing positive developments in Mozambique. And I feel inspired and encouraged.

Yesterday, I visited the marine biology research station in Inhaca. Their research on climate change and how to protect your valuable marine resources is vital – not only for Mozambique, but for all of us. Because we are all interconnected. We share a common future. We have just one planet – what happens in one part of the world has implications for us all. 

Today, we truly need to join forces globally to solve the challenges ahead, and this year gives us a unique opportunity to put the world on the right track. In September, world leaders will adopt a universal agenda for sustainable development, merging poverty reduction with economic, social and ecological sustainable development. In December, a new global climate agreement will be adopted. To quote United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – “We are the first generation that can end poverty, and the last one that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.” The first generation. These are big words. We are together in this struggle – and I look forward to working in close partnership with Mozambique to ensure a better future for our children.

Sweden was one of the first nations to establish diplomatic relations with the independent Mozambique, on 28 June 1975. But our collaboration started even earlier than 40 years ago, with Sweden’s support for your liberation movement in the mid-1960s. Our support has since turned into long-term development cooperation and Mozambique is one of our most important development partner countries in the world.

Our strong links provide us with excellent opportunities to develop and share ideas and dialogue on important issues that are valuable to both our countries.

It is with great respect that we have witnessed the impressive steps this country has taken, especially in the last few years. Today, Mozambique is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with an expected annual growth rate of 7–8 per cent in the coming years. There is economic potential in your country’s immense natural resources, but also a huge challenge to make sure they are used in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.

Having said that, there are still major needs in terms of reconstruction and development. The potential for us to continue working together is therefore good. We can do this within a new development cooperation framework and also through increased trade, and increased political dialogue and cooperation, bilaterally and multilaterally.

We know many of the difficulties we face, including the effects of climate change, the unsustainable use of land and water, poor development in rural areas, a lack of inclusiveness and gender equality in the economy and in society, transparency problems and corruption. But we also see a whole range of possibilities – to release the power and potential of women, to foster renewable energy, to help improve food security and strengthen capacity within institutions.

I am pleased to announce that my Government recently adopted a new cooperation strategy for the period 2015–2020 which seeks to address many of the challenges mentioned. It is vital to embrace the increased interest and potential to utilise your country’s natural resources, but to do this in a truly socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way. We must provide opportunities for people who live in poverty to contribute to and benefit from economic and democratic development.

Security and political stability are crucial if you are to continue on your positive path of development and increase foreign investment. You have made huge efforts and I encourage further work on seeking peace and reconciliation to consolidate democracy and peace. This is a shared responsibility between the newly elected leaders of Mozambique and the opposition parties.

It is my hope and firm belief that our strong historical ties will help us to broaden our dialogue and our countries’ commitments. With our new cooperation strategy as the backbone, we will, in partnership, meet a brighter future.

 

Thank you.