Tag Archives: Margot Wallström

Sweden calls for UN action on climate change

 STOCKHOLM, Aug. 11(Greenpost) — Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Isabella Lövin Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate in Sweden recently jointly issue an article calling the United Nations to take real action on climate change issues.  The text is as the following published on Swedish government website.

Today the members of the United Nations Security Council are meeting to discuss climate change and security for the first time in seven years. In recent years, clear signs of climate change have made it difficult to turn a blind eye.

The aim of today’s meeting, chaired by Sweden, is to increase understanding about the exacerbating effects of climate change on conflict.

In Sweden this year, spring and summer have been characterised by extreme weather. Water shortages, forest fires and crop failures have become recurring news stories. The issue feels increasingly relevant and part of our reality. Extreme heat is now also affecting Canada and California, while extreme rainfall across Japan has led to two million people being evacuated from their homes, and more than 120 people have died.

But people in poor countries are those hardest hit by the adverse impacts of climate change. There, resilience to extreme weather events and crop failure is extremely low. Women are often disproportionately vulnerable in these situations. Fragile countries risk being stuck in a vicious cycle of instability and climate risks.

A few days ago, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and other United Nations and African Union representatives conducted a joint visit to Chad and Niger. In doing so, we continue the focus on a region where the link between climate change and security is particularly clear. This will help us better understand the various dimensions of the conflict, such as links to terrorism, lack of development, gender inequality and the impact of climate change. The visit made clear that traditional security measures are not enough to promote peace and security.
Last year, the Security Council also travelled to the Lake Chad region. After the trip, Sweden initiated a ground-breaking resolution that was the first to identify the impact of climate change on a specific conflict, and called for the UN to strengthen its capacity to respond. This marked the beginning of a new approach to climate change in the Security Council.

The Sahel region of West Africa has been hit hard, especially Mali and the Lake Chad region. Shorter and less predictable rainy seasons have increased competition for scarce resources, exacerbating existing tensions between herders and settled farmers. People’s livelihoods and food security are threatened, further increasing people’s vulnerability. In countries where resilience to crisis is weak and social and economic security extremely limited, we see more and more people being recruited by extremist groups offering money and food. Many choose to leave their homes and flee.

Another telling example is the many small island state that are at risk of being submerged when sea levels rise. It is difficult to image the consequences of entire nations potentially disappearing.

These are only a few examples of the link between climate and conflict. We need to better understand how climate interacts with, and at times reinforces, patterns of conflict. Without this understanding, we — the international community — will never be able to take fully informed decisions to promote peace and prevent conflicts.
Sweden has worked intensively to bring greater international attention to the issue. The international community must be better at understanding, highlighting and committing to action against the threats of climate change. This means improving conflict prevention work.
The United Nations Security Council, whose primary responsibility is the maintenance of international peace and security, must lead the way. We simply cannot ignore this issue in our quest for sustainable and peaceful development. Since Sweden took its seat on the Security Council, we have worked continuously to raise awareness of this issue. And we have achieved many important results. Sweden is working with other like-minded countries to draw attention to climate-related security risks, and we have seen results in regions including West Africa and the Sahel, and countries such as Somalia and Mali. We also work strategically with incoming Security Council members to ensure that the issue continues to receive the attention it deserves when Sweden is no longer a member.

Sweden is doing its share, in foreign policy, climate policy and aid policy. Sweden is demonstrating global leadership in climate finance and development cooperation, and is the highest per capita donor to most of the largest multilateral climate funds. Climate and conflict perspectives are continuously integrated into development cooperation, and a range of contributions focusing on climate and security are being implemented.

The Government also supports the establishment of an international research centre for climate and security, the Stockholm Climate Security Hub, which will engage some of the leading Swedish research institutes in the field. This will be launched in conjunction with World Water Week in August with the aim of promoting knowledge development and policy dialogue in the area, not least to support the UN and other multilateral actors with evidence-based analysis.
Today’s Security Council debate on climate and security was far from self-evident. But our efforts are met with ever-clearer support from countries on all continents, and with great gratitude especially from the many affected countries that are already experiencing the grave effects of climate change.

We are now looking ahead to next year’s UN climate summit. If we are serious about the Global Goals, including global sustainable development and peace and security, then climate-related security risks must be on the global agenda. The situation is acute. And we have no time to lose.

Margot Wallström
Minister for Foreign Affairs

Isabella Lövin
Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate

Sweden takes its seat on the UN Security Council

Stockholm, Jan. 5(Greenpost)–Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström will visit New York during Jan. 8-11 to meet the new General Secretary and lead a ministerial debate.

Photo: Kristian Pohl / Government Offices of Sweden

The following is her opinion article:

Sweden’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council has begun. In January, Sweden will also hold the Security Council presidency.

This comes at a time marked by many complex conflicts. Syria continues to be a nightmare. Tensions in our neighbourhood have increased. The EU and the UN, established in the post-war period to maintain peace, are being questioned. Increasingly, voices are being raised for isolationism and nationalism.

This is why we have no time to lose if we want to make a difference and have a positive influence on developments in the world. In 1954, Dag Hammarskjöld, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “The UN was not created to take humanity to heaven, but to save it from hell.” His words feel more relevant today than for a long time.

While problems do exist in the Security Council, we have recently seen evidence that progress is possible. On 23 December, the Security Council adopted the first resolution on the peace process in the Middle East in eight years. The resolution represents an important clarification, based on international law, of the international community’s views on the settlements.

On 1 January, as Sweden assumed its place on the Security Council, António Guterres became the new Secretary-General of the United Nations. We are encouraged by his vision statement, with its focus on strengthening the UN’s ability to prevent armed conflicts. We intend to build on this during Sweden’s presidency in January. We want to:

  1. Give António Guterres a good start. We intend to contribute to laying the foundations for an active and constructive relationship between the Security Council and the new Secretary-General. This is essential to enable the UN to take on the many peace and security challenges.
  2. Highlight the UN’s conflict prevention efforts and the link between women, peace and security. The UN must be much more effective at preventing the lapse and relapse into armed conflict, including women in peace processes and seeing the nexus between peace, security and development. We need early warnings of risks and impending crises. These must then be followed by early action, be it mediation or more forceful measures. Women’s active participation in peace processes is a strategic issue for international peace and security. And it is both right and smart: studies show that peace agreements last longer when women are at the negotiating table. The voices of Syrian women, Somali women and other women must be heard in the Security Council.
  3. Improve the Security Council’s working methods. We want to contribute to a Security Council that is more effective, transparent and legitimate. Our working methods will be characterised by transparency and dialogue in a way that will help build both support and confidence. A range of peace actors, including civil society, should be involved.

Next week, on 10 January, Sweden will host a ministerial-level open debate on conflict prevention. We cannot ignore the warning signs, and then the next minute add another armed conflict – and more human suffering – to the Security Council agenda.

The debate will be the Secretary-General’s first formal meeting with the Security Council. The aim is to give him and the Member States a basis for strengthening the UN’s efforts to prevent the lapse and relapse into conflict.

We are well prepared. Sweden has been an observer in the Council and held consultations with all its members. At home, we have engaged in dialogues with the Riksdag and civil society, and we have established an expert reference council.

As a member of the Security Council, Sweden will be responsible, professional, credible, dialogue-oriented and open. Sweden’s foreign policy is firmly rooted in international law, human rights, gender equality and a humanitarian perspective. Sweden will continue to combat violations of the prohibition of the use of force enshrined in the UN Charter, of human rights and of international humanitarian law. The use of the veto must be limited – especially in cases of mass atrocities such as in Syria.

As a Council member, most of our time will be dedicated to managing the situations, crises and operations that dominate the Council’s work and agenda. And as the Council’s agenda is driven by events – a conflict can flare up anytime – we must be prepared for the unexpected.

The international community is increasingly confronted with new challenges, such as pandemics, natural disasters, climate change and cyber threats. The entire UN system needs to manage these new types of threats to international peace and security in the 21st century.

UN peace operations must be more effective. At the same time, the Security Council, which formulates mandates for operations, must consider the capacity available to carry out the task. The sexual violence perpetrated by international troops against civilians in areas including the Central African Republic is completely unacceptable. Sweden will vigorously pursue demands for an effective zero tolerance policy.

Sweden will safeguard UN cooperation with regional organisations, not least peace and security cooperation with the EU and the African Union. As an active member of both the UN and the EU, Sweden naturally intends to contribute to strengthening cooperation between them.

There are no simple solutions to the world’s many conflicts or to the tensions in the Security Council. Patient and long-term efforts are what is required. Standing up for principles and dialogue or continuing to promote gender mainstreaming can be thankless and at times difficult. Yet to build the common security and sustainable peace we believe in, it must be done.

And we will do so from our perspective as an open country that is dependent on the rest of the world in this age of globalisation. It is essential for us that the countries of the world solve problems together, and that bloodshed on the battlefield is replaced with patience at the negotiating table. Sweden will contribute to upholding the international order, at the heart of which lie the United Nations and the Security Council. Over the next two years we will do this as a member of the Security Council.

Sweden was convincingly elected to the United Nations Security Council – with 134 votes. The countries of the world have spoken. Now it’s up to us to shoulder the responsibility that awaits.

Margot Wallström
Minister for Foreign Affairs

En frihet står på spel

Gemensam debattartikel i Journalisten.se den 3 maj av Margot Wallström, Sveriges utrikesminister och Timo Soini, utrikesminister i Finland.

Margot Wallström och Timo Soini
Finlands utrikesminister Timo Soini och utrikesminister Margot Wallström.Foto: Regeringskansliet

Mediefriheten hotas alltmer inom EU, dess närområde och runt om i världen. Aktuella exempel därpå omfattar repressiv lagstiftning, våld mot journalister och spridning av statligt kontrollerad propaganda och desinformation. Åtgärder av detta slag innebär inte bara en begränsning av journalisternas arbete och ett hot mot deras liv. De begränsar även medborgarnas delaktighet i samhället, vilket underminerar själva grunden för demokratin.

I år då tryckfrihetsförordningen firar 250 år arbetar Sverige och Finland tillsammans i syfte att öka våra ansträngningar för att försvara yttrande- och pressfriheten inom och utanför Europa.

I Sverige och Finland tryggades pressfriheten för 250 år sedan, i och med att Sveriges riksdag antog den första tryckfrihetsförordningen i världen. Riksdagsledamot Anders Chydenius från Karleby, som idag ligger i Finland, var pådrivande i denna process. Förordningen innebar att censuren för tryckta skrifter avskaffades samt att allmänhetens rätt att få tillgång till allmänna handlingar och delta i politiska debatter tryggades. Utöver att skydda yttrandefriheten har tryckfrihetsförordningen på ett avgörande sätt bidragit till framväxten av våra moderna och nydanande nordiska samhällen.

Vi beklagar att de grundläggande fri- och rättigheterna i allt större utsträckning hotas runt om i världen samtidigt som tryckfrihetsförordningen nu firar 250 år. Demokratin och rättsstatsprincipen undermineras på många håll, samtidigt som man kränker de mänskliga rättigheterna och inte erkänner deras allmängiltighet. Centralt för dessa utmaningar är att medielandskapet är hotat. Repressiv lagstiftning riktas mot journalister och människorättsförsvarare. Vissa stater lägger allt större medel på spridning av ren propaganda och desinformation. Journalister trakasseras, hotas, förföljs och dödas. Gärningsmännen ställs alltför sällan inför rätta. I många fall kan rädslan för repressalier och trakasserier resultera i självcensur bland journalister och mediearbetare.

Denna utveckling gör det nödvändigt att öka ansträngningarna för att främja yttrande- och mediefrihet, bland annat genom främjande av mediekompetens och ökat stöd till fria och oberoende medier runt om i världen.

Många internationella organisationer och frivilligorganisationer har uttryckt oro över den försämrade mediemiljön. OSSE:s representant för mediefrihet, som är ett viktigt organ på området, har vid flera tillfällen uttryckt oro över situationen för mediefriheten i OSSE-området.

EU:s nyligen inrättade grupp för strategisk kommunikation har vid upprepade tillfällen avslöjat rysk propaganda och desinformation som inte enbart handlat om att snedvrida sanningen eller påverka den allmänna opinionen. Den förefaller även syfta till att underminera själva konceptet objektiv information, genom att framställa all information som antingen vinklad eller ett politiskt maktinstrument. Sådan propaganda och desinformation riskerar att underminera förtroendet för medier och institutioner samt främja utbredningen av nätforum som vidareförmedlar konspirationsteorier och halvsanningar riktade mot motståndare och journalister. Därigenom urholkas allmänhetens förtroende för de institutioner som utgör det demokratiska samhällets grundvalar. Därför samarbetar vi med våra grannar i Norden och Östersjöområdet för att utbilda journalister i undersökande journalistik och stödja fria och oberoende medier i områden som är särskilt utsatta för desinformation och propaganda.

Medielandskapet förändras snabbt, vilket skapar både möjligheter och utmaningar i fråga om yttrande- och mediefrihet. Många länder har redan gått över från traditionella tidningar och tv till digitala distributionskanaler. Internet och sociala medier ger människor möjlighet att använda sig av sin yttrande- och åsiktsfrihet samt rätt att få tillgång till information. Tack vare de tekniska framstegen och sociala medierna är vi alla potentiella “journalister” idag. I utövandet av rätten att uttrycka en åsikt går frihet och ansvar hand i hand.

Ny teknik kan skapa möjligheter för demokratisk utveckling. Samtidigt kan teknik användas för att sprida propaganda och desinformation. I detta sammanhang är kritiskt tänkande och källkritik av avgörande betydelse. Medierna spelar en nyckelroll när det handlar om att koppla samman information, så att medborgarna själva kan avgöra vad som är sant respektive osant.

De nordiska länderna är ingalunda fredade mot yttrandefrihetshot. Hatpropagandan och radikaliseringen, särskilt på nätet, utgör ett ständigt växande problem även i våra samhällen.

Terroristorganisationer som Daesh använder sig i sociala medier av bilder på extremt våld för att påverka den allmänna opinionen och provocera våra samhällen i syfte att skapa ökad radikalisering och rekrytering. Det vanliga bruket att publicera foton och videor på extremt våld och avrättningar i sociala medier skapar rädsla och ökar polariseringen inom våra samhällen, vilket ger ytterligare näring åt extremisternas sak.

250-årsjubileet för tryckfrihetsförordningen i Sverige och Finland påminner oss om den långa väg vi har vandrat för att främja yttrandefriheten. Utvecklingen i världen i stort visar emellertid tydligt att det inte är läge att stanna upp nu. Sveriges och Finlands regeringar har åtagit sig att, tillsammans med företrädare för media och det civila samhället, arbeta än hårdare för att främja yttrandefriheten i världen.

Margot Wallström
Utrikesminister, Sverige

Timo Soini
Utrikesminister, Finland

250th anniversary of free speech celebrated in Sweden

Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 25(Greenpost)–Sweden, a small country located at the northernest corner of the world, was almost the first in the world that guaranteed the free speech and transparency 250 years ago.

Margot Wallström, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs issued 250 words on free speech as saying that free speech and transparency were guaranteed on 2 December 1766, when the Swedish Parliament passed the Freedom of the Press Act, the first legislation of its kind anywhere in the world.

This is an important landmark to celebrate-250 years of media freedom!

The ACT has served Sweden well. Free speech and transparency are prerequisites not only for democracy, but also for innovation, feeding ideas through critique, debate and scrutiny. Transparency is also an important tool in combating corruption.

However, as the 250th anniversary approaches, it is disturbing to see that the fundamental rights and freedoms it sets out to defend are increasingly under threat around the world. In many places, democracy and the rule of law are being underminded, human rights violated and their universal nature denied.

These developments call for redoubled efforts to promote freedom of expression, tansparency and media freedom, including promotion of media literacy and increased support to free and independent media around the world.

In the second half of 2016, the Swedish MFA is running a campaign in defence of freedom of expression where we hope to contribute to the global discussion on this important topic.

Please join us in this important conversation. Let the 250th anniversary become the starting point for a new era of freedom of expression, said Margot Wallström.

Sweden becomes a member of the UN Security Council

STOCKHOLM, June 29(Greenpost)–Sweden has been elected to the United Nations Security Council 2017-2018, announced Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström on Tuesday.


“Six months ago we were considered to be out of the running. Today we have a seat on the Security Council. This is a great victory for Swedish foreign policy and Swedish diplomacy,” said Wallström in a statement.

“For a government that stands for solidarity and cooperation, a seat on the Security Council is an acknowledgement that a global policy for sustainable peace and development pays off. For the United Nations, this means that one of its largest donors is taking its engagement and ideas, along with its demands for reform and change, into the organisation’s innermost room,” said the statement.

“During our two-year term, we will take our share of responsibility for international peace and security that membership of the Security Council entails. On 1 January 2017, when we take our seat at the table that has become a symbol of world affairs, we will do so as President, at the same time as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations takes office,” said Wallström.

Sweden’s candidacy was based on issues and on a belief in dialogue and diplomacy as tools. Deeper contacts with many countries around the world have given us a better understanding of how today’s challenges are perceived and experienced, but also a basis for advancing Sweden’s vision of democracy and human rights, gender equality and development. This is also how Sweden will work as a member:” we will listen to those concerned, defend those who need to be defended and stand up for those we believe in”.

Security, development and gender equality are interlinked. Poor countries run a much greater risk of being affected by conflict. Sweden will work to make the Security Council better at acting before conflicts erupt.

“We will work to make the Security Council see the nexus between security, development, climate and gender equality. We will work to highlight the perspective of women in conflict situations. Half of the world’s population cannot be excluded if we want to achieve sustainable peace,” said Wallström in the statement.

Wallström said the UN must become more open – even more open. “We want to work for greater transparency and openness in the Security Council. We want to talk with countries, rather than about countries. We want to strengthen dialogue with civil society, women’s organisations and other peace actors. This is how to build a peaceful world.”

She said Sweden will deal with issues on the Security Council agenda on the basis of Swedish values. “The last time we had a seat on the Security Council, we were always the ones to emphasise international law and human rights. And that’s how it will be this time too.”

The situation in Sweden’s neighbourhood and the fact that our European security order is being challenged demonstrate the importance of respect for international rules and principles. “This perspective will be central during our two-year term on the Security Council,”.

Sweden will be a member of the UN security Council from January 1, 2017.

“We will be doing so at a time when, all around the world, uncertainty and insecurity are taking a toll on people’s lives, and the need to work together to build sustainable peace and resilient communities has never been clearer. We will do so because we are convinced that as a small and open country dependent on the rest of the world, it is in our interest to contribute to and defend the international order that has at its core the United Nations and the Security Council. And we will do so because we believe we can make a difference – through our policies, our values and our engagement,” the statement said.

Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström on Hiroshima

Stockholm, Aug.11(Greenpost)–Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström said the only way to fully guarantee security is to totally eliminate all nuclear weapons in a statement issued on Aug.6.

The statement said hundreds of thousands of people paid with their lives due to the bombs, both immediately and much later, and both cities were completely destroyed. The bombs used were relatively weak in comparison with those currently held in the arsenals of nuclear powers. Almost 16 000 nuclear weapons remain.

” We must never forget the victims and the terrible destruction that the human race unleashed on itself. But that is not enough. Today, 70 years on, we must act to ensure that no one is ever again affected by such terrible consequences. The only way to fully guarantee this is to totally eliminate all nuclear weapons,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.


北欧绿色邮报网报道(记者陈雪霏)--瑞典外交大臣马约特. 瓦尔斯特罗姆6日就纪念广岛长崎遭受原子弹轰炸70周年发表声明说,要保证生灵不糟涂炭必须要完全消除所有核武器。