In December, the City of Gothenburg handed over to Peru 51 well-preserved textiles from the more than 2 000-year-old Paracas textile collection. The textiles, purchased by Sweden’s Honorary Consul in Lima Sven Karell from the Nazca and Paracas cultures, were brought to Sweden in 1935.
“It feels wonderful to return them to Peru,” says Gunilla Bökmark, the City of Gothenburg’s Director of International Relations.

On 11 December, the Swedish Embassy in Mexico hosted a seminar on how the gender perspective could be enhanced in the analysis and protective measures offered by the Mexican government to protect journalists and human rights defenders. The event took place in connection with International Human Rights Day, which this year particularly focused on freedom of expression, and the two-week campaign to highlight and combat violence against women.

In Lima, as in many cities around the world, public transport is often neither environmentally friendly nor practical. Car use is increasing and air quality worsening. But one progressive district in the Peruvian capital is making vigorous efforts to make its streets climate-smart.

More than 50 students pulled an all-nighter in Honduras earlier this year to think up technical solutions to gender-based violence in the country’s first ever ‘diplohack’.The event, held in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, was a collaboration between the Swedish and Dutch embassies in Central America, UNESCO, Plan Honduras and the National Autonomous University of Honduras.

Global Goal 6 says that all people in all countries should have access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation and hand washing by 2030, but last year more than one third of the world’s population lacked access to a toilet. In Bolivia, more than five million people lack access to basic sanitation, and water is both in short supply and expensive. Since 2003, the Swedish Embassy in Bolivia has supported UNICEF Bolivia’s WASH programme. The programme centres on reaching the most excluded sectors of the population in remote, rural communities in order to reduce cultural, social, gender and geographic inequities.

As we prepare to leave for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, there is not much hope for great results. But that doesn’t mean that all the time and effort will be wasted. In the margins progress is made. The challenge will be to try and build on that progress in the future.

The United Nations in Bolivia has produced a new model of cooperation to increase focus on gender equality and eliminate violence against women, girls and boys.

On 21 September, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) entered into force provisionally. CETA is an ambitious agreement that will contribute to increased growth and employment in Sweden, writes Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde.

How can technology prevent violence? Solving this puzzle lay at the heart of Diplohack: the first socially-oriented ‘hackathon’ ever held in Honduras. After 36 hours of tireless work, some outstanding ideas saw the light of day.