UN Chief is going to visit Sweden to discuss refugee crisis

STOCKHOLM, March 30, (Greenpost)–UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is in Stockholm to meet Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in Rosenbad in a few hours. 

The Secretary-General is travelling to Sweden directly from Geneva, where he kicked off a ministerial conference hosted by UN refugee agency UNHCR on Wednesday morning by calling on all countries to help resettle nearly half a million Syrian asylum seekers over the next three years.

“This demands an exponential increase in global solidarity,” he told the summit.

According to Swedish government website, Swedish PM will also talk about UN goals in 2030 and other issues.

The UN wants to resettle around 480,000 refugees by the end of 2018, but is facing a tough challenge as an increasing number of countries, including Sweden, have been tightening their borders in the past year.

Ban’s visit comes less than two weeks after the EU struck a bargain with Turkey to plug migration flows to Europe, with all refugees arriving in Greece to be sent back across the border.

More than 1.2 million migrants have come to Europe since January 2015 in the continent’s biggest migration crisis since World War Two, and around 4,000 have drowned while trying to cross the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece.

But the UN has criticized the deal, fearing it could violate international law.

Sweden on the other hand, which took in a record 163,000 asylum seekers last year, was one of the main proponents behind the controversial agreement made in Brussels.

“We must put an end to the unregulated, very dangerous escape over the Mediterranean which this year alone has cost several hundred people their lives,” Löfven said at the time.

Other topics which the two leaders are likely to discuss are Sweden’s work to stop sexual violence in international armed conflicts and the ongoing peace negotiations in Syria, which are headed by Swedish-Italian diplomat Staffan de Mistura, according to the Local.

They are expected to hold a joint press conference at around 5pm, after which the UN Secretary-General is set to give a speech at a memorial event for one of his predecessors, the late Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld.

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