Sweden raises stakes for UN Security Council seat

Sweden's foreign ministry launches a new department focusing on United Nations issues Monday in an effort to obtain a non-permanent seat next year in the United Nations Security Council.

The new unit is a sign that Sweden wants to boost its role in the United Nations, newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) reports.

"We're gathering all UN-related issues under the same umbrella," Kristina Bergendal at the foreign ministry tells SvD.

Sweden is competing with Italy and the Netherlands for the seat at the table from 2017-2018. The UN internal election will be on June 28th.

The Swedish government has been criticized for using aid funds from the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation to invite UN ambassadors to Stockholm, where they were briefed on the country's candidacy.