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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Swedish Government's increase of ODA Funding
ISSUE 9 - 25 September 2003
On 22 September 2003, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs presented its proposed budget for 2004 to the Swedish Parliament. The budget calls for an official development assistance (ODA) increase of SEK 2.8 billion (USD 361 million), which would raise Sweden's ODA contributions from 0.81 per cent to 0.868 per cent of its gross national income (GNI). This is a significant change toward Sweden's stated goal of increasing ODA to one percent of its GNI.
In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on 22 September, Jan O. Karlsson, Sweden's Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, addressed the importance of fighting HIV/AIDS around the world. "We need more resources," Karlsson said. "We must treble the expenditure of today to reach the required level of 15 billion U.S. dollars per year in 2007. Sweden is increasing the official development assistance, from 0.81 per cent of GDP to 0.86. This is a step towards our goal of again realizing the one per cent target of ODA . . . We will increase the support to UNAIDS from 7 to 12 million USD and to UNFPA from 25 to 33 million USD. Our support to the Global Fund next year will be 37 million USD."
The budget is currently pending approval from the Swedish Parliament.
Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Press Release, 22 September 2003
Increased Development Assistance to go to Concrete Measures
Development assistance will increase by SEK 2.8 billion between 2003 and 2004. Its share of GNI will rise from 0.81 to 0.868 per cent. Increasing development assistance will continue to be one of the government's main reform initiatives. The target of allocating one per cent of Sweden's GNI to international development cooperation and assistance remains firm.
"Development assistance has increased by 30 per cent over the past three years. Next year's increase means that we will be able to take forceful action in four major areas: HIV/AIDS; sexual and reproductive health and rights; narcotics; and peace support, conflict management and common security," says Minister for Development Cooperation, Migration and Asylum Policy Jan O. Karlsson.
Support to UNAIDS will increase from SEK 60 to SEK 100 million. More support will be given to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. Preventive work continues to be important but the government will increase its support to, for example, care, treatment and the development of a vaccine. A special ambassador, responsible for HIV/AIDS issues, will be appointed.
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Support to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) will increase from SEK 205 to SEK 270 million. Conservative forces are trying to undermine progress made internationally. Sweden will increase its support to such organizations to enable vital work for women's reproductive and sexual health and rights to continue.
The Fight against Drugs
Support to the U.N. International Drug Control Programme will increase from SEK 38.5 to SEK 50 million. Narcotics problems are closely linked to poverty, lack of equality, exploitation, corruption and weak political control. Efforts will be directed both at production and consumption in developing countries.
Peace Support, Conflict Management and Common Security
Resources allocated to civil missions, such as police and rescue services in connection with peacekeeping operations, will increase. The government will strengthen confidence-building measures, such as dialogues and participatory processes. Greater emphasis will be given to the underlying causes of armed conflicts.
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as secretariat for the biannual International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (the first conference was held in November 2002, in Ottawa, Canada). These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can be kept informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow parliamentarians in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development(September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse all of the policies described in this newsletter.
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