Carl Bildt (Continuación)

In a ground-breaking vote on an issue that affects all of us, the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday endorsed a resolution upholding the principle of freedom of expression and information on the Internet.

The broad support for the resolution demonstrated that maintaining the free flow of information on the Internet is a global call and not something pushed only by a few Western states.

In recent years I have frequently spoken about Internet freedom, an issue which is a priority to the Swedish government. I have condemned the harassment of bloggers and online activists and called for a strong global coalition of states to support the simple but salient fact that freedom of expression also is applicable to the Internet.…  Seguir leyendo »

En una visita reciente a Afganistán y Pakistán no pude dejar de notar la creciente frecuencia de los llamados internacionales para emprender la etapa final en Afganistán. Sin embargo, pensar en llegar a una etapa final en ese país es una ilusión peligrosa: no terminarán ni las etapas ni la historia. Lo único que puede llegar a un final es la atención y la participación del mundo en Afganistán, lo que podría tener consecuencias catastróficas.

Gran parte de la atención internacional se centra actualmente en el año 2014, fecha en que está previsto que las fuerzas internacionales dejen la responsabilidad de la seguridad en manos del gobierno afgano.…  Seguir leyendo »

We are deeply concerned about all the loose talk regarding a possible military attack on Iran because of the growing uncertainty over parts of its nuclear program.

Not only would such an attack be a clear violation of the charter of the United Nations. It could have severely negative repercussions across the region and be counterproductive to the very objectives it would seek to achieve.

It is difficult to see a single action more likely to drive Iran into taking the final decision to acquire nuclear weapons than an attack on the country. And once such a decision was made, it would only be a matter of time before a nuclear-armed Iran became a reality.…  Seguir leyendo »

This day five years ago, the European Union and Ukraine started negotiations on a groundbreaking new agreement with the aim of fostering Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the E.U.

By now, we should have been able to celebrate a signed and ratified agreement, and a successful Ukraine making progress toward even closer cooperation with the E.U. Instead, we pass a new milestone on what is becoming a much too long and painful road.

In March 2007, hopes were high for a sustainable democratic development of Ukraine. Indeed, the country has been regarded as a beacon of democracy in the former Soviet Union and has a better track record of free and fair elections than most other countries in the region.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indonesia’s parliament has just taken a historic step, one that makes the planet safer from the threat of nuclear weapons. The importance of Indonesia’s decision to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty cannot be overstated. This is a golden opportunity for the remaining eight countries to endorse the CTBT, enabling it to come into legal effect.

For the five decades following World War II, a nuclear test shook and irradiated the planet on average every nine days. This era was ended in 1996, when the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. But, for the CTBT to enter into force, all 44 states specified as holders of nuclear technology must ratify it.…  Seguir leyendo »

There is little doubt that the embarrassing spectacle of the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – and her recent arrest on contempt charges during the proceedings – is causing great damage to her country. And there is little doubt that how Ukraine develops will be of great importance for Europe’s future.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004 ignited the hope of a new wave of democratic reforms in the countries to the east of the European Union – a period of so-called “color” revolutions. Soon, however, those forces that feared losing power in this vast and important region began a determined counter-offensive.…  Seguir leyendo »

There can be no business-as-usual between the European Union and Belarus’ president, Aleksandr Lukashenko, after what has happened since the presidential election in Belarus last Sunday.

In recent months, hope had grown that his words could be taken seriously. He promised to invite international observers to the election, and he delivered on the promise. He talked about giving the opposition some space during the election campaign, and there were some improvements.

The E.U. responded by suspending sanctions and with a generous offer of conditional political dialogue, economic cooperation and the possibility of financial assistance. It would have been in the interests of both Europe and the people of Belarus to continue.…  Seguir leyendo »

At the end of 2009, the Start treaty between the United States and Russia expired. For the first time in decades there are no mutual inspections and monitoring between the United States and Russia in the nuclear field. For more than a year, the two largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons have been without the finely calibrated system of trust and verification which the original Start treaty from 1991 ensured.

On April 8, the United States and Russia signed the New Start treaty, which represents a significant step forward in the nuclear commitments of both countries. The treaty would reduce the numbers of strategic weapons to a level of 1,550.…  Seguir leyendo »

European Union enlargement, the transformation of a mainly Western European Club into a truly pan-European Union, has been one of the E.U.’s greatest success stories. But the historic mission to bring further stability, democracy and prosperity to the whole Continent is not yet finished.

On Monday, we will meet our colleagues from around the European Union at the General Affairs Council in Brussels to set out perspectives for the enlargement process and the countries moving down the path to E.U. membership. This will clearly be a significant occasion to turn around the inward-looking tendencies of recent years and revitalize the vision of an open Europe.…  Seguir leyendo »

A decade and a half ago, when I was prime minister of Sweden, then-President Bill Clinton and I had the first e-mail exchange between heads of state. Already our two nations were at the forefront of the technological revolution about to transform our world.

We had just left an era in which communist dictatorships had tried to control fax machines and the Moscow phone directory was a closely held secret. Today, fax machines are definitely yesterday, and classical phone directories are more or less out of business.

Since that groundbreaking e-mail exchange we have seen the revolution in mobile communication coming out of Europe and the Internet revolution coming out of the United States transform the politics and economics of our world.…  Seguir leyendo »

For decades, Europeans have heard an enduring message from the United States: Do more. Carry your weight. Don't make America do all the heavy lifting. And this message has been delivered, loud and clear, once again, on Afghanistan.

An honest assessment would conclude that over the years these complaints have occasionally had some foundation. The United States has played a central role in defending the values and the security of the Euro-Atlantic community -- something for which Europeans are grateful.

But that honest assessment would also conclude that Europe can pull its weight. That Europe can deliver and can be a real partner for the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »