German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Stockholm in Tuesday for talks with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and to take part in some inspiring seminars on future innovative solutions.

On 1 January, as Sweden assumed its place on the Security Council, António Guterres became the new Secretary-General of the United Nations. We are encouraged by his vision statement, with its focus on strengthening the UN’s ability to prevent armed conflicts. We intend to build on this during Sweden’s presidency in January.

Gender-based violence has enormous consequences, for victims, relatives and friends, and the whole of society. Sweden’s work against gender-based violence is conducted at many levels and with a range of different tools, both nationally and internationally.

After decades of civil war, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was established in 2013. Among its mandated functions is to support the Federal Government of Somalia in the areas of peace- and state-building.

The EU enlargement package was adopted by the EU Commission on 9 November. This week, the conclusions will be discussed and adopted at the General Affairs Council (GAC).

Not a day goes by without us seeing and hearing about the hardships endured by people all over the world in their search for protection from conflicts and natural disasters. The number of forcibly displaced people now exceeds 65 million, of whom 21 million are legally regarded as refugees under the UNHCR’s mandate.

For Sweden, the fight for human rights – both at home and internationally – is a key issue that must permeate all policy areas.
Human Rights Day is celebrated around the world on 10 December every year.
Rarely has the day been as important to celebrate as now.

It’s 250 years since Sweden established the world’s strongest freedom of the press through a ground-breaking new fundamental law, the Freedom of the Press Act. It was the first legislation of its kind anywhere in the world.
Freedom of the press, freedom of expression and opposition to censorship are of course well worth celebrating – and are still worth fighting for today!

This summer, former Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, was appointed new Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This autumn she took up her new full-time position at the Secretariat in Paris.

The statue of Swedish newspaper publisher Lars Johan Hierta watches over Riddarhustorget in Stockholm’s Old Town. And what a proud inscription: “Lars Johan Hierta, pioneer of a free press and popular government.”