The experts are ringing the alarm bells but who is listening to all the warnings about climate change with its potentially catastrophic consequences? We talk to one of the members of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Prof. Erland Kellén of Stockholm University.
And the United Nations might have got a new human rights organ but how different is the Human Rights Council from its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission? The old body was called toothless but has the new one been provided with more teeth?
BACK TO HER ROOTS
Abir Alsahlani’s family was forced to move from one country to another for decades because of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial regime. She finally ended up in Sweden as a teenager together with her family. And now she spends a lot of time in Iraq trying to preach the democratic word. Meet her in Studio 49.
SAFEGUARDING HUMAN RIGHTS
Carl Söderbergh has been working with the protection of human rights for the lion’s share of his life. He has worked in the United States promoting civil liberties, in South Africa under apartheid and he has also worked in various countries safeguarding the rights of refugees. For the last eight years he has been leading the Swedish branch of Amnesty International. Now eight years later, he is leaving the organisation. He discusses his experiences in Studio 49.
The Organisation Kvinna till Kvinna, literally Swedish for Woman to Woman, works to promote the empowerment of women. It was set up in at the height of the Balkan war in the 1990s to help women victims of the conflicts in the old Yugoslavia. Its work was considered so important that it won the second most prestigious Swedish prize, the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the alternative Nobel Prize, in 2004. We find out more about Kvinna till Kvinna in a discussion with Åsa Carlman, the organisation’s communications head.
Some 20 percent of Sweden’s population of nine million is made up of people who either were born outside the country or are children born to parents outside the country. But the country’s culural output does not reflect Sweden’s cultural diversity.
And as a measure to correct that imbalance, 2006 was declared the Year of Cultural Diversity. But what difference has that made? The national co-ordinatore of the project, Yvonne Rock is guest in Studio 49 to explain.
MINISTER DEMANDS MORE ACCOUNTABILITY
Sweden is one of a handful of donor nations which have achieved the U.N. goal of allotting 1% of their Gross National Product to Official Development Assistance. The budget allotted for next year amounts to 40 billion kronor, some 6 billion U.S. dollars.
The new Swedish government, which took over the reins of power six weeks ago, says it wants to show its solidarity with poor and vulnerable people in the developing world. At the same time the new minister in charge of international development co-operation, Gunilla Carlsson, does not hide her dissatisfaction with some of the national governments in the recipient countries. She discusses her thoughts and plans in Studio 49.
IS SWEDISH GENDER EQUALITY ELITIST?
What’s your image of Swedish women? It probably is one of an emancipated and independent woman enjoying the benefits of gender equality that is the envy of many around the world. In that case your picture does not differ from the general image the outside world has about Swedish women. Except that may not be the whole truth. A fresh study carried out by the Swedish Public Health Institute reveals that women in this Scandinavian nation face major problems in many areas. We take a closer look at the issue with the help of the author of the research.
KEEPING SWEDEN SWEDISH
They call themselves Sweden Democrats and they say they want to keep “Sweden Swedish”. A few years ago nobody took them seriously and today they’re represented in half of the country’s local governments. But who are the Sweden Democrats and what do they really want to achieve and how do they intend to achieve it? We discuss the issue with one of the experts who have followed them closely.
Malaria claims the lives of millions of people every year. And it is usually referred to as the neglected disease because it does not capture headlines in the affluent world. But if the work being carried out by a group of Swedish researchers proves successful, then a cure to fight the parasite which causes malaria may soon be developed.
Music: 1. Too Many Beliefs, Eva Dahlgren
2. Jag står för allt jag gjort, Peter Jöback
SWEDEN TURNS RIGHT
Swedes went to the polls on 17 September and decided to say farewell to the Social Democrats and their parliamentary allies who ruled this country for 12 years. Instead voters gave their support to the centre-right four parties united under the umbrella the Alliance for Sweden. And the question many are asking today, particularly outside the country, is why voters rejected the center-left Social Democrats regarded as the architects and guardians of the welfare state and opted for the centre-right alernative. We discuss the issue with senior lecturer at Södertörns University College, Nicholas Aylott.
It’s been called modern slavery. We’re talking about the trafficking of human beings, particularly women, for sexual exploitation, and both men and women for forced labour. Young women are in high demand and therefore at a much greater risk. Sweden is active in the fight against human trafficking. And now the country has appointed a special envoy to co-ordinate the work on human trafficking. Ambassador Anders Oljelund tells us why he was appointed and what he hopes to achieve.
Music: 1. Lys I häret - Marie Boine
2. All About You - Maries Fredriksson -
DEBT RELIEF – WHAT DIFFERENCE HAS IT MADE?
External debt remains a major obstacle to human development in many countries. Debt repayment literally crashes the economies of many societies since it swallows up billions of dollars of badly needed resources. The heavily indebted poor countries transfer some 10 billion dollars every year to the rich countries in the form of debt repayment. Last year, the eight most industrialised countries cancelled billions of dollars worth of debt to the most indebted countries. What difference has it made? So far not so much say Swedish civil societies working with development issues.
WHAT CAN SWEDEN OFFER?
Last year, tourists spent more than 8 million hotel nights in Sweden. Most of the tourists visited the capital, Stockholm, which has become the most popular city among the Nordic capitals. But what have Sweden and Stockholm to offer foreign tourists?
Music: 1. Do What You’re Told, Sebastian
2. Vem tänder stjärnorna, Eva Dahlgren
WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?
The Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda has been involved in killing, torturing, maiming and raping defenceless children in its rebellion against the central government. Children are even reportedly forced to participte in the torture and even killing of other children. Rädda Barnen, the Swedish branch of the Save the Children organisation is urging international intervention in Uganda.
HOW POPULAR IS FAIRTRADE?
It is called Fairtrade and is run by a world-wide movement which issues an independent consumer label as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world get a better deal. But the interest in Sweden to buy Fairtrade products leaves much to be desired. We find out more about Fairtrade from Alice Bah Kuhnke, Secretary-General of the Swedish branch.
Music. 1. Tröstevise, Benny Andersson
2. Catching the Moon, Stefan Andersson