“Freedom of expression is our greatest step forward,” said Sayeda Mojgan Mustafavi, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture in Afghanistan, in her address as the Embassy in Kabul hosted a conference for the third year in a row on journalist safety, transparency and freedom of expression.

Two years ago, Russian opposition politician and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was murdered openly in the street, close to the Kremlin in Moscow.

The Myanmar Digital Rights Forum took place in Yangon on 14-15 December. The event was the first of its kind in a country that until recently for decades was more or less closed off from the rest of the world.

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.”

Our human rights-based approach is the starting point and the added value that Sweden brings into the discussion on global internet affairs.

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.
Freedom of the press, freedom of expression and opposition to censorship are of course well worth celebrating – and continuing to fight for today!

“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. There is always something you can contribute. The most dangerous thing is indifference.”

Sincere words spoken by Jan Eliasson, UN diplomat with half a century of diplomacy and international commitment under his belt. He has mediated in six international conflicts, been Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations and the President of the UN General Assembly. Today, he is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Dag Hammarskjöld was a world citizen. During his period as Secretary-General of the United Nations, from 1953 until his death in 1961, he became known as an efficient and dedicated international civil servant.

Today, more than 50 years after his death, Dag Hammarskjöld serves as a role model for many international workers, especially civil servants.