With the arrival of the monsoon, temperatures thankfully have dropped considerably. Outdoor activities are now more or less out of the question, but to peacefully watch the downpour from my balcony is quite spectacular. Sadly though, the formerly clear, blue Yangon sky has now turned grey. But it is certainly not the only thing here being grey.

Launch Event for the SIPRI Yearbook 2015.

At the end of May, the Executive Board of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) approved a new Gender Policy for 2015–2020. This might seem to be a mere technicality, but in fact it is a charged issue. The fact that one of the largest UN bodies will now have a good, modern policy for gender equality is important for the universal right to receive necessary support in urgent humanitarian situations, regardless of gender.

In 1928, scientist Alexander Fleming made a discovery that changed the history of medicine. He discovered that a fungus called Penicillium notatum could kill bacteria. This observation led to the development of a medicine that could treat bacterial infections – penicillin. However, antimicrobial, and especially antibiotic, resistance is now challenging this progress.

La XII Bienal de La Habana está en pleno apogeo y por el Malecón se encuentran obras de artistas de todo el mundo.

Negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus were resumed on 15 May this year and are currently surrounded by greater optimism than for a very long time. Sweden is playing an active role in the peace process and is helping, via various initiatives, to create confidence and cooperation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Sweden and Tunisia are organising a Sustainable Infrastructure Forum in Tunis on 2–3 June, as a follow-up to Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström’s official visit in February, marking a new era in Swedish-Tunisian relations.

Women’s organisations in the Great Lakes region are calling for change. Women have systematically been neglected and denied access to peace negotiations, security conferences, reform programmes, and high level panels where their own future is being discussed. This needs to change.

On this day, we pay tribute to the thousands of women and men who have risked their lives, and we honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.