In 1989, the UN adopted its convention on the rights of the child, which comprises 54 articles on human rights for children. These may be applied to how children may be treated in connection with conflicts, since it addresses, for example, the right to protection when displaced and citizenship. To highlight this, we have met Gufran Al-Nadaf, Sweden’s Ambassador for Children and Armed Conflict, to talk about the challenges, the feeling of inadequacy and Sweden’s priorities.

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.

During the first six months on the UN Security Council, the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN in New York has worked closely with the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU in Brussels and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm on many important issues. The synergy effects are clear: membership of the Security Council has helped strengthen Sweden’s participation in the EU. 

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.

UN Security Council visits the Lake Chad region to call attention to the security and humanitarian crisis in the region. The decision for the Council to visit the region resulted from a briefing on the situation in the region held during the Swedish Presidency.

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.