Sweden has again been highlighted as a pioneer for sustainability. Sweden’s tax reductions for repairs is a finalist for the INDEX: Award, one of the world’s largest design competitions which rewards design that promotes sustainability.

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.

We cannot protect our share of the ocean with walls; instead, we must cooperate in a spirit of solidarity.

With everything from plastic dresses to ‘watchdogs’, Team Sweden put the spotlight on the 2030 Agenda in the Czech Republic in April, and how we can work together for sustainable development. Government representatives, companies, civil society and many committed people contributed to discussions, which will now continue.

Ahead of the Forum on Financing for Development in New York on 22–25 May, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) has released a report containing more than 200 concrete examples of how to achieve the Global Goals. The aim of the report is to stimulate dialogue with other countries and actors and help inspire concrete ideas: “This is very much an educational product to raise awareness of the importance of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and its link to the 2030 Agenda,” says Måns Fellesson, Deputy Director at the MFA Global Agenda Department.

Globalisation has reduced poverty in the world – but it has also increased inequality. Consequently, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is now strengthening its efforts to ensure fairer globalisation.

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.

The problem is that there are actually not that many fish left in the sea. Now I’m talking about real fish, not partners. Since 1970 we have experienced a decline in marine species populations by 49%. 29% of all fish stocks are overfished and 61% are fully fished. Some estimates show that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our seas.

Given the profound impact of climate change, it is increasingly being viewed as a source of security risks. What are these exactly and what instruments are there for policy to address those risks?

The ambition was to conclude the EGA this weekend. We failed. A lot of finger pointing is taking place right now, as usual after negotiations stall, but trying to assign blame is not really meaningful. In trade negotiations defensive interests are usually the most difficult obstacles to get past. Even in an agreement like the EGA where the gains for all are so obvious, we could not avoid getting stuck on a few defensive positions.