• 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
Euro 2016
How Iceland made Swedes 'proud to be Nordic'
Fans react in Reykjavic after Iceland defeat England. Photo: Brynjar Gunnarsson

Sweden failed to make it past the group stages at Euro 2016. The fans needed a new team, and now they've got one.

Why this Swedish police dog has been hailed as a hero
Äddie the police dog has finally retired after ten years on the job. Photo: Christer Torlen

A heart-warming Stockholm Police tribute to Äddie the retiring police dog has attracted hundreds of replies and thousands of likes on Facebook.

Five facts on Manchester United-bound Ibrahimovic
Ibrahimovic is on his way to Old Trafford. Here's everything you need to know. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has finally confirmed his next choice of club. Here are five facts on the Swedish striker after he announced he is signing for Manchester United on Thursday.

Swedish state appeals against Roma register ruling
Fred Taikon was one of the eleven victims. Photo: Maja Suslin

A court ruling judged that the Swedish state should pay out compensation to eleven victims of ethnic discrimination, but an appeal has now been launched.

Ikea opens massive museum in Sweden
A scene from the museum in Älmhult. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Flatpack enthusiasts rejoice: Ikea has just opened a 7,000 square metre museum in the building that once housed its original store.

The Local Recipes
How to make a Swedish chicken and strawberry salad
Chicken and strawberry: a better combination than it may seem. Photo: SwedishFood.com

Easy to prepare, this chicken and strawberry salad is the meal you need this weekend, trust us!

Ibrahimovic confirms Manchester United move
Ibrahimovic playing for Sweden at Euro 2016. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/TT

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has put months of speculation over his future to an end by confirming that he will join Manchester United.

Man detained in Sweden over poison plot
Uppsala University. Photo: David Naylor/Uppsala universitet

The case, which involved assistance from the FBI, regards poisonous substance ricin that was allegedly stolen from Uppsala University to aid a blackmail plot.

Fifty Stockholm heart patients hit by superbug
Staff check air quality in an operating theatre at Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: Gary Fabbri

A potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria has spread to more than 50 heart patients at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Stockholm.

Two jailed for match-fixing in Swedish football
Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

A Swedish appeals court has jailed two football players and handed suspended sentences to four others for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Business & Money
Swedish banknotes expire this week
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Gallery
People-watching: June 29th
International
Foul-mouthed attack on young Swedish mother in England
Blog updates

28 June

A message for British expats in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. As Prime Minister…" READ »

 

10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

 
 
 
Private
The Local Voices
'Having a Middle Eastern name makes life in Sweden hard'
Sponsored Article
International students in Stockholm partner with Nepal school
National
Is this Swede the new Vincent van Gogh?
Politics
Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden
National
The humble Swede who sent England home from Euro 2016
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Torhamn
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Private
The Local Voices
'Sweden is the best place for people with special needs'
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Politics
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
3,314
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