OTTAWA, Canada – The following is a joint statement by Mélanie Joly, minister of foreign affairs, and Ann Linde, minister for foreign affairs of Sweden, on bilateral cooperation:
“Canada and Sweden share a close relationship with extensive cooperation based on shared values and priorities. As two like-minded countries, we affirm our strong commitment to democratic principles and will work closely together to stand up for the rules-based world order and multilateralism, support the rule of law, safeguard democracy, protect and promote human rights, and advance gender equality. On the occasion of the visit to Ottawa of Sweden’s minister for foreign affairs, Ann Linde, Canada and Sweden commit to further enhancing our deep partnership and to continue working together in support of peace and prosperity all across the world.
“We reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Putin’s unprovoked and unjustifiable aggression against Ukraine is not only an attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and right to decide their own future, but also an attack on democracy and a violation of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations. Canada and Sweden agree on the need to ensure accountability for the international crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine. We stand firm in our continued support for Ukraine and its people and strongly condemn Russia’s actions, including its targeting of civilians.
“Our joint responses to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine have demonstrated the importance of transatlantic unity and cooperation. As close transatlantic partners and friends, Canada and Sweden are committed to strengthening our transatlantic relations further, as well as strengthening EU-NATO cooperation, which is key to our collective security and prosperity.
“We are committed to increasing our cooperation to safeguard and advance democracy whenever it is threatened or undermined, support civil society and democratic processes, and to counter the growing threat of disinformation. In doing so, we reaffirm our commitment and support to the International IDEA [Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance] and the Community of Democracies, and commit to working closely together in these fora to promote and protect democracy globally. Through the Freedom Online Coalition, Canada and Sweden will work together to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as gender equality, both online and offline as well as digital inclusion.
“We will further strengthen our cooperation to counter foreign threats to democracy including disinformation through the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism. We stress the importance of freedom of expression and of free and independent media, and will together advocate for the full enjoyment of human rights of journalists and other media workers through the Media Freedom Coalition.
“As Arctic countries and founding members of the Arctic Council, Canada and Sweden collaborate closely to promote circumpolar cooperation in the Arctic region. Sweden’s strategy for the Arctic and Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework recognise both the challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic. We are committed to a peaceful and stable Arctic that addresses the serious problem of climate change and encourages sustainable economic and social development with and for northerners, including Indigenous Peoples. We commit to enhancing our cooperation in the areas of polar research, environmental protection, innovation and Indigenous reconciliation.
“As close partner countries in championing feminist foreign policy, Canada and Sweden reaffirm our commitment to advancing feminist approaches, eliminating structural and indirect barriers for all women, girls and marginalized people, and to integrate gender perspectives in all our shared priorities. Our two countries are committed to supporting women’s rights organizations and are collaborating on the development of the Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements.
“In addressing the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, both our countries are leading in highlighting the importance of a gender perspective in all our efforts, including the adoption of gender-responsive budgeting, and are committed to supporting the inclusion of women in decision making and mediation processes and the full implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. We will continue to advocate for feminist approaches for a more effective, fair, relevant and accountable United Nations in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We reaffirm our commitment to hold Iran accountable for the actions and omissions of its civil and military officials that led to the illegal downing of Flight PS752 by ensuring that Iran makes full reparations for its violations of international law, and we reaffirm our commitment to working with partners within the International Coordination and Response Group in pursuit of transparency, accountability and justice for the victims of Flight PS752.
“In addressing the most challenging crisis of our time, Canada and Sweden are committed to take urgent action to address climate change and mitigate its consequences, including by recognizing the link between climate, gender and security. We are committed to achieving carbon neutrality and will promote trade and investment in clean technologies and promote green transition. We are committed to push for bold and transformative action, including through the UN Stockholm 50 conference hosted by Sweden in Stockholm in June, and where Canada will also co-host the 6th Ministerial on Climate Action to advance implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“We look forward to our increased cooperation in the years to come.”