Svenska kyrkan

“Attested commitment and sound knowledge”

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In conjunction with today’s Swedish Government reshuffle, Per Olsson Fridh, former State Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, will become Minister for International Development Cooperation, succeeding Peter Eriksson. Erik Lysén, Head of Act Church of Sweden, regards Olsson Fridh as a minister who will “pursue global issues with commitment and strategically” in his new position.

New Minister for International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh visiting Act Church of Sweden in November 2019. Here in discussions with policy advisors (from left) Henrik Fröjmark, Annika Lindé and Gunnel Axelsson Nycander. Photo: Johanna Wassholm.
New Minister for International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh visiting Act Church of Sweden in November 2019. Here in discussions with policy advisors (from left) Henrik Fröjmark, Annika Lindé and Gunnel Axelsson Nycander. Photo: Johanna Wassholm.

“We are in a pivotal time, where development cooperation and development cooperation policy have never been more important due to the global challenges we now have. I know Per Olsson Fridh as a judicious dialogue partner, and in him Sweden gains a Minister for International Development Cooperation who will continue to pursue global issues with commitment and strategically,” says Erik Lysén, Head of Act Church of Sweden.

“It is especially an advantage to have a Minister for International Development Cooperation who is well respected across party and block boundaries, and who sees the importance of a strong civil society, and not least the role of religious actors in development issues.”

Fridh begins his ministerial position in a situation in which global challenges are larger than they have been for a very long time. The pandemic has thrown the world back into a situation in which both famine and poverty are rising rapidly and humanitarian needs have grown dramatically in just one year. The global crisis has also led to greater inequality worldwide, with wider chasms between rich and poor. The crisis has had a particularly severe impact on women, who are over-represented in the informal sector that is suffering a major economic downturn, and who have also been exposed to increasing levels of violence.

“In light of this it is positive that Sweden is now gaining a Minister for International Development Cooperation with sound knowledge and attested immense commitment to global issues, and who will therefore continue to pursue a strong, feminist Swedish development cooperation policy in international arenas,” says Erik Lysén.

“In his role as State Secretary for the previous Minister for International Development Cooperation, Per Olsson Fridh has also safeguarded genuine dialogue with both the Swedish and global civil society.”

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New Minister for International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh visiting Act Church of Sweden in November 2019. Here in discussions with policy advisors (from left) Henrik Fröjmark, Annika Lindé and Gunnel Axelsson Nycander. Photo: Johanna Wassholm.
New Minister for International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh visiting Act Church of Sweden in November 2019. Here in discussions with policy advisors (from left) Henrik Fröjmark, Annika Lindé and Gunnel Axelsson Nycander. Photo: Johanna Wassholm.
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The Church of Sweden is a national church, open to everyone living in Sweden regardless of nationality. It is a place for church services, meetings and dialogue. The Church of Sweden is an Evangelical Lutheran church with 5,9 million members. There are 3500 churches in Sweden, and 13 dioceses.

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