Today sees the opening of the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality – a global conference with 600 participants from over 100 countries. The Forum will bring together activists, academics, politicians and entrepreneurs who put their energies into making the world more gender-equal.

Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and human rights counsellor Colin Gonsalves are some of the 500 gender equality actors who will participate in the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality on 15–17 April. The global forum is about strengthening women’s and girls’ rights, representation and access to resources.

Floating islands of plastic garbage. Endocrine disruptors in marine organisms . Overfishing and illegal fishing driving species close to extinction. Increasing water temperatures triggering coral bleaching. Rising sea levels threatening coastal communities, eco systems and whole nations. The list of alarming reports on the state of the ocean is long, and their frequency has increased dramatically in recent years. We’re running out of time to reverse the trends.
“It is clear that we humans have severely mismanaged one of our global commons – the ocean,” says the newly appointed Swedish Ambassador for the Ocean, Helen Ågren.

De senaste åren har de alarmerande rapporterna om havens tillstånd duggat tätt. Öar av plastskräp som flyter omkring på haven. Hormonstörande kemikalier i vårt dricksvatten. Arter på gränsen till utrotning på grund av intensivt och olagligt fiske. Uppvärmning av havet som leder till blekning av koraller. Havsnivåhöjning som hotar kustsamhällen, ekosystem och hela nationer. Listan är lång och tiden är knapp för att vända de negativa trenderna.
– Det är uppenbart att vi har misslyckats med att förvalta vårt gemensamma hav, säger Sveriges nyutnämnda havsambassadör Helen Ågren.

The One Planet Summit begins in Paris on 12 December, and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Isabella Lövin will be there. Below she talks about the summit and a new Swedish climate initiative.

Sweden is to become one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare nations, and the Government is now implementing the largest initiatives on climate and the environment in modern times.

Last year, more countries were experiencing violent conflict than in nearly 30 years. In many cases we didn’t fail to see the conflicts coming – we failed to respond in time. It is time to step up. We must act before wars are waged and massacres committed. We must invest in peace.

Today, 8 June, is World Oceans Day, and marine issues have never been higher on the agenda. Tomorrow marks the end of the UN Ocean Conference, where many countries and stakeholders have gathered to reverse the cycle of ocean decline.

Never have our oceans been as stressed as they are today. And yet, the world has long chosen not to recognise or acknowledge the seriousness of the situation, or perhaps it has seen the problems as isolated issues. This is why the UN Ocean Conference in June is so important.

On 2 March, an international conference entitled ‘She Decides’ will be held in Brussels. The conference is being co-organised by Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark.