• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
UN boss discusses Syria and refugees in Sweden
UN boss Ban Ki-Moon and Stefan Löfven on Wednesday. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

UN boss discusses Syria and refugees in Sweden

TT/The Local · 31 Mar 2016, 06:31

Published: 30 Mar 2016 11:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Mar 2016 06:31 GMT+02:00

The Secretary-General travelled to Sweden directly from Geneva, where he kicked off a ministerial conference hosted by UN refugee agency UNHCR on Wednesday morning by calling on all countries to help resettle nearly half a million Syrian asylum seekers over the next three years.

"This demands an exponential increase in global solidarity," he told the summit.

The UN wants to resettle around 480,000 refugees by the end of 2018, but is facing a tough challenge as an increasing number of countries, including Sweden, have been tightening their borders in the past year.

Ban's visit to the Nordics comes less than two weeks after the EU struck a bargain with Turkey to plug migration flows to Europe, with all refugees arriving in Greece to be sent back across the border.

More than 1.2 million migrants have come to Europe since January 2015 in the continent's biggest migration crisis since World War Two, and around 4,000 have drowned while trying to cross the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece.

But the UN has criticized the deal, fearing it could violate international law.

Sweden on the other hand, which took in a record 163,000 asylum seekers last year, was one of the main proponents behind the controversial agreement made in Brussels.

"We must put an end to the unregulated, very dangerous escape over the Mediterranean which this year alone has cost several hundred people their lives," Löfven said at the time.

However, if any harsh words were exchanged during their private meeting, it was not shown at the afternoon press conference, where the leaders had only kind words for each other.

“The UN has for a long time been the most important international platform for peace and security,” said Löfven about the organization headed by Ban for the past decade.

The Secretary-General meanwhile praised Sweden for bringing a feminist foreign policy to the international scene. He said he would listen to the Prime Minister's request to put women front and centre of the ongoing peace talks in Syria, which are led by Swedish-Italian diplomat Staffan de Mistura.

Story continues below…

Responding to questions about UN criticism of the EU-Turkey deal, he said only that the determining factor would be “how it is implemented”.


Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Crown Princess Victoria. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Later in the evening, Ban gave a speech at an event in Stockholm City Hall in honour of one of his UN predecessors, late Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld. The talk was attended by several high-profile guests, including Crown Princess Victoria taking a short break from her maternity leave since giving birth to Prince Oscar earlier this month.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Swedish economic growth 'best in Nordics'
A new report says Sweden has the best growth prospects of the Nordics. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden's economy is out-pacing its Nordic rivals, but high levels of household debt are still a problem.

Why Swedish football is introducing a green card
Swedish referees could soon be reaching for a green card. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

You’ve heard of the red and yellow cards, but how about the green card?

Sweden won't charge foreign minister over 'queue jump'
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallström will not be charged over claims she was given special treatment to secure an apartment in Stockholm.

Swedes don’t want to join the euro - now or ever
Euros? Nej tack! Photo: Jens Meyer/AP

We'll keep our krona, thank you very much.

Opinion
'Bigotry is not dead in Sweden – we still need to talk'
Stockholm Pride 2015. Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Sweden still needs to do more to confront intolerance, argues columnist Paul Connolly.

Spotify gains listeners but it's still bleeding cash
Spotify's offices in Stockholm. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

The Swedish streaming giant expanded rapidly last year but hasn't yet turned a profit.

Man facing trial over refugee worker's murder
The man during a preliminary court hearing earlier this year. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

A man accused of killing a worker at a home for young refugees earlier this year has been charged with her murder.

Smombie Swedes hurt in smartphone accidents
Don't text and drive! Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

The injury count of Swedes' tech-addiction revealed.

Interview
'Fika is a coffee break, with emphasis on break'
All pictures from the documentary 'Fika: to have coffee'. Photo: Fabian Schmid

The Local speaks to Zürich-based budding filmmaker Fabian Schmid about why he decided to travel to Sweden to shoot a documentary about the unique Nordic 'fika' concept.

Swedish lay judge quits over Soldiers of Odin link
Soldiers of Odin members photographed in Norway. Photo: NTB scanpix

UPDATED: A Swedish lay judge has stepped down after admitting he patrolled Stockholm with an anti-immigrant vigilante group.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
3,292
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se