Sweden & International Organizations in Geneva

The Swedish mission in Geneva ranks with some 30 staff members among the major Swedish missions abroad. The mission covers basically all fields dealt with by the UN system and other international organizations in Geneva. Our work is organized around three main pillars: disarmament, trade and development, humanitarian issues and human rights.

Sweden is an original member of the Conference on Disarmament and has actively contributed to all major disarmament treaties negotiated by that body: the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Sweden now favours the speedy commencement of negotiations towards a treaty banning the production of fissile material for weapons' purposes. Sweden plays an active role in implementing and strengthening existing conventions such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Mine Ban Treaty, the CCW and the Biological Weapons Convention (BTWC), and is also active in the different multilateral processes regarding small arms and light weapons.

Sweden is an open and export-oriented economy. As such, Sweden believes in the virtues of the multilateral trading system through the WTO. Sweden strongly supports the Doha Development Agenda and regrets that the Cancún Ministerial meeting failed. The negotiations need to be put on track again as Sweden is convinced that, only through a comprehensive round of trade negotiations, all members of WTO, rich and poor, would benefit fully from the multilateral trading system. This is not the least true for the Least-Developed Countries (LDCs), which stand to gain from open, fair and legitimate trade rules that address all issues relevant also to their needs and priorities.

Sweden actively participates in UNCTAD. We favour measures that give preferential treatment to developing countries and would like to see further steps to better integrate them, especially LDCs, into the multilateral trading system.

Sweden has traditionally put strong emphasis on development assistance not the least to LDCs. Our Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) amounts to 0,7% of GNP and is growing. This makes Sweden one of the world's largest donors of development assistance if counted as GNP per capita.

Sweden strongly supports the work carried out by ILO and WHO. We believe that the normative role of the specialised agencies is particularly important in time of globalisation. We also find the role of ILO and WHO increasingly important when addressing poverty and development issues. Both organizations receive extra-budgetary contributions from Sweden.

Sweden is in absolute terms one of the biggest financial contributors to the humanitarian agencies inside and outside the UN system such as the UN High-Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and many national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Sweden is also one of the major contributors to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and gives strong political support to a treaty-based human rights system and the special procedures of the Commission of Human Rights. Sweden promotes the respect of all human rights, civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Sweden further promotes a rights-based approach to development cooperation as well as mainstreaming of human rights into all relevant UN activities.