…and Sweden general calls the situation … … “a clear and present danger to peace and stability in the region.”
By: Odnar Abbink, The Swedish daily Expressen (Dec 29, 2018)
There is hope in our Scandinavian neighbors: Sweden and Pakistan (or hopefully, Afghanistan) have shown solidarity and engagement in addressing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Pakistan has always shown that Afghanistan is not just a humanitarian crisis, but a security threat.
Source: Swedish daily Expressen (Dec 29, 2018)
Sweden and Pakistan were jointly led by Jonas Björklund, a former Under-Secretary-General for Diplomatic Affairs.
In a series of statements, Östergren urged the humanitarian community in Pakistan to work closely with the United Nations and to avoid hasty decisions which can endanger the lives of ordinary people.
We at The Ausvärttland Foundation have studied this trend and followed it closely. The situation is getting worse, not better, and threatening a collapse that does not just affect the lives of Afghan refugees, but also the inhabitants of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
I have explained these difficulties in my last presentation. I invite a second thought.
Acts of Good Diplomacy is the importance of convincing key countries in the region like Pakistan, Iran, India and China to contribute with our knowledge, our efforts, our resources and our human capital. And we must do it more than once. The Afghans are at the center of these geopolitical developments.
Hence we should be prepared to use other avenues than information and humanitarian agencies if the situation still does not improve. I suggested to the Swedish parliament last year that we should offer India security and diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. They refused. But they agreed to pay $10 million to facilitate a constructive Afghan-Indian dialogue.
We may be able to get something useful out of this. New Delhi and New Kabul do have certain common interests. And it would be a good beginning of a new international partnership.
Finally, Sweden has often called for a reformed UN Security Council and a more comprehensive Security Council.
As the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen has pointed out in a recent book, the Security Council has become an extremely cumbersome organization, with dysfunction and paralysis, and even paralyzed for a long time.
Sweden is right to demand two strengthened seats in the Council so that we can influence international foreign policy. And above all, so that the Council plays a significant, visible role in peace and security.