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.

The whole world helped to fill Wikipedia with articles on prominent women on International Women’s Day. The WikiGap campaign has already been established in over fifty countries, and the hope is that it will be long-lasting.

In April 2017, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) presented new country reports on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The reports form part of the Government’s work to promote, prevent and influence developments in these areas. The reports can be read on the Government website. Here, I describe some of the overarching trends that can be identified based on the extensive material contained in the reports.

Keep all pathways open for potential encounters. I believe that this Sami saying encapsulates the spirit of life in the Barents region: how positive interactions between humans and nature make life better. These interactions in our Nordic region and between our countries have persisted for centuries. The current challenge of climate change is making such interactions and cooperation more necessary than ever. 

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.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström has been awarded a prize by the UN body UN Women in New York. She received the Agent of Change Award for her commitment to gender equality and her work to strengthen women’s rights.

Idag publicerar Utrikesdepartementet nya landrapporter om mänskliga rättigheter, demokrati och rättsstatens principer. Lanseringen är en del av regeringens arbete för att främja, förebygga och påverka utvecklingen i dessa frågor. Rapporterna finns att läsa på regeringens hemsida.

Six years have now passed since the conflict in Syria broke out, when the regime met peaceful protests with brutal violence. The only sustainable way forward is a political solution to the conflict.

Det är nu sex år sedan konflikten i Syrien inleddes när regimen mötte fredliga protester med brutalt våld. Den enda hållbara vägen framåt är en politisk lösning på konflikten.