Around the world, nearly 250 million children are living in countries affected by conflict and tens of thousands of them have been recruited and used as child soldiers. Despite this reality, we are making progress in ending this horiffic and cruel practice, which robs children of their futures.

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?

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.

More women – more peace. Studies show that the full and equal participation of women in peacebuilding processes contributes to better and more sustainable peace and security in society. On 12-14 December, Sweden invited women activists from all provinces in Afghanistan to participate in a training on dialogue and mediation skills in peace processes.

The link between women, peace and security is arguably of special importance in a country like Jordan. Jordan is one of the major contributors of personnel to UNs peace keeping missions with over a thousand military and police staff in nine missions worldwide. It is also a country which is deeply affected by the Syria Crisis in terms of economic, social and not least security related terms. It hosts more than 600 000 Syrian refugees and a large number of refugees from other regional conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

Hans Blix’ career path was shaped during the Second World War: he wanted to head out into the world and work for peace. This drive led him to several leading international positions and a mission as one of the leading forces working for safer nuclear energy and against weapons of mass destruction.

When Alva Myrdal was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982, she had been fighting a tough battle for decades as one of the strongest advocates of disarmament. For many years, she led the Swedish delegation in the disarmament negotiations in Geneva and was the first woman to reach leading positions in the United Nations.

So Alva Myrdal could well be seen as an early incarnation of the feminist foreign policy that Sweden pursues today.

The United Nations, headed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has chosen Crown Princess Victoria to be one of sixteen Advocates to promote the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals. The role the Crown Princess and the other Advocates will play will be to “leverage their unique standing and leadership” to promote the messages and encourage partnerships with governments, the private sector and civil society.

It is often said of Olof Palme that he made Sweden larger.

This may be true, but it was hardly his objective. Olof Palme was an outspoken fighter for the rights and freedoms of people all over the world – a tradition that Swedish foreign policy still rests on today. This is how peace and security have to be built.

“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.