UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visited Sweden
On 26–27 October, Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, visited Sweden. The programme included meetings with Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström and State Secretary Diana Janse.
Mr Türk’s visit was part of the year-long initiative marking the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
During the visit, Mr Billström hosted a lunch for Mr Türk. There he emphasised the importance of supporting the UN’s human rights efforts. This is crucial at a time when individual rights and freedoms are being questioned in a growing number of countries, not least when it comes to women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. Mr Billström and Mr Türk also discussed current issues including the situation in Israel and Gaza, Russia’s aggression in and against Ukraine and human rights on the internet.
In their talks, State Secretary Diana Janse and Mr Türk discussed cooperation between Sweden and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Sweden has long been one of the OHCHR’s largest donors.
Mr Türk also met with Minister for Gender Equality Paulina Brandberg, members of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and representatives of the Swedish Institute for Human Rights. During external events with Sida and Stockholm University, Mr Türk pointed out that the 75th anniversary presented countries all over the world with the opportunity to reiterate their support for universal human rights.
Sweden’s support for human rights
In 2022, Swedish support for human rights, democracy and the rule of law accounted for about 25 per cent of Sida’s development cooperation. In addition, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs provides support to multilateral organisations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and International IDEA.
Sweden is one of the largest donors to the OHCHR and provided some SEK 290 million in 2022, of which SEK 105 million was in the form of untied operational support to the organisation.