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Sweden pushes for seat at top table of power

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Sweden pushes for seat at top table of power
Isabella Lövin, international development minister, Åsa Romson, environment minister, Stefan Löfven, prime minister, and Margot Wallström, foreign minister. Photo: TT
18:36 CEST+02:00
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström, in New York to attend the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, has been garnering support for Sweden to get a seat on the UN Security Council, according to Swedish public broadcaster, Sveriges Radio.

The Security Council is the UN's most powerful decision-making body, with a primary responsibility of ensuring international peace and security. Five countries – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – sit on the council as permanent members and there are ten elected member states who serve two-year terms.

Wallström is one of four Swedish ministers at the summit in New York, and according to Sveriges Radio, she has planned more than 40 meetings with other countries' delegates.

Wallström said she is actively campaigning for Sweden to get a seat on the Security Council.

"This is a very important opportunity to talk to as many countries as possible as to why we have a very good case to take a seat on the Security Council," she said. 

"We're actually the fifth largest humanitarian aid donor in the world, we are a loyal - albeit critical - friend of the UN. We stand up for – and are here for – the United Nations as an active member."

Wallström is trying to convince other delegates to cast their vote for Sweden in 2016 for a spot on the Security Council beginning in 2017.

While both Italy and the Netherlands are also vying for spots on the council during the same period, Sweden is building a case for itself based on its commitments to the rule of international law, development, disarmament and human rights.

Meanwhile, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told the summit that Sweden would work toward becoming one of the first fossil-free welfare states in the world.

Löfven said Sweden would work hard to "break the link between development and fossil fuel dependence”.

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