Nordic defence policy, foreign policy and civil public security will be the main topics at the Nordic Council Theme Session meeting in Stockholm from 10-11 April. Several Nordic Defence and Foreign Ministers will also take part in the debate. Accreditation is now open for journalists wishing to cover the Theme Session.
- Human trafficking for forced labour, sexual exploitation, begging, organ selling or any other purpose can be considered today’s modern slavery. Combating human trafficking is one of humanity's most important issues, said Swedish MP (Social Democrat) and Nordic Council member Maria Stenberg at the Parliamentarians Against Human Trafficking (PAHT) seminar in Sweden.
The Nordic countries call for wording on women's sexual and reproductive rights to be included in the final resolution for the UN Commission on the Status of Women's (CSW) annual meeting in New York. Lack of agreement in CSW last year resulted in it ending without a final resolution, which heralds tough negotiations this year too. Sweden's Minister of Gender Equality, Maria Arnolm, just returned from New York, still has hope.
Violent masculinity should be shameful in our societies. Therefore, men and boys should become our allies in the fight to combat violence against women, says UN Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Jan Eliasson, on Wednesday, when he opened the Nordic Council of Ministers' ministerial debate on the theme of violence against women in conjunction with the annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
KreaNord, under the Nordic Council of Ministers, calls for applications for funding in the creative industries in the Nordic Region. The first round of applications opens on 27 March. You can apply for up to DKK 1 million (134 000 EUR). The administration of KreaNord's new programme will be managed by Nordic Culture Point from March 2013.
Dagfinn Høybråten took over as Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers on 4 March 2013. He replaces Halldór Ásgrímsson who steps down after six years. Høybråten takes on his new role with the ambition of developing and strengthening Nordic co-operation: There is potential for much great co-operation in the Nordic Region than we exploit today. As Secretary General I look forward to contributing to realising this potential.
When the Nordic Council organised a discussion on ”Early Education in the Nordic Countries”, during the Nordic festival month NORDIC COOL 2013 in Washington, it turned out that they had entered the lion's den. The subject has been a matter of considerable debate in the USA since President Barack Obama, in his recent State of the Union address, highlighted the need for preschool education.
Look, it's Michael Kaiser, said a woman in the crowd at the premiere of the month-long festival Nordic Cool 2013 at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. He is as close to an American Minister of Culture as you can get, continued the woman ecstatically. The next day I got a very rare interview with him, the President of the Kennedy Center.
The Nordic countries have successfully involved men and boys in the work to combat violence against women and girls. This slant on the theme of violence is very topical and the Nordic ministers for gender equality led by Maria Arnholm from Sweden will travel to New York to take part in the UN Commission on the Status of Women's (CSW) annual meeting.
Press release from U.S. Department of State: Nordic Ministers of Culture and representatives of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland met with Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine on February 20 at the U.S. Department of State to mark the opening of the Nordic Cool 2013 festival.
The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Espen Barth Eide (Lab) believes that Nordic foreign policy has been developing positively in recent years: "I would say that we are definitively on the way into what we might call a new spring for Nordic co-operation. And it will be at its most successful if we understand that a pragmatic approach – doing more when more is needed – is what leads to progress".
A delegation from the Presidium of the Nordic Council is to meet with the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly in Riga on 18 January. At the meeting, the President of the Nordic Council will call on the Nordic and Baltic countries to follow-up on the work already done together on defence and security policy.