On June 3, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, where she met with senior Swedish officials to discuss a range of issues, including green energy, Internet freedom, Afghanistan, and the Middle East.
Following her meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Secretary Clinton said, "Sweden brings its diplomatic heft and its development expertise to nearly every corner of the globe. And at the Chicago Summit we were pleased to welcome Sweden as one of NATO's strongest partners, standing with us in Afghanistan as we begin the transition to full Afghan responsibility for security by 2014, as well as working for the betterment of the Afghan people into the future."
Speaking about the Middle East, Secretary Clinton said, "...We discussed the ongoing atrocities in Syria. We are joined in our condemnation of what Assad and the regime are doing to perpetuate vicious and systematic attacks, and strongly support a political transition that will give the Syrian people a better future. We have a great commitment to the Kofi Annan Plan, because the six points are the ones that have to be addressed, and we will continue to look for ways to do that. I also appreciated discussing Iran with the Foreign Minister. We share a vision for a diplomatic solution that sees Iran live up to its international commitments."
Secretary Clinton continued, "...When it comes to all of the large challenges that know no boundaries, such as climate change, or gender equality, or Internet freedom, it is true that Sweden is not just on the front lines, but leading. And I am greatly appreciative for all of that work."
In Stockholm, Secretary Clinton also joined Swedish Climate Ambassador Anna Lindstedt and Swedish Minister for the Environment Lena Ek at a Climate and Clean Air Coalition event, attended by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. In February 2012, Sweden and the United States launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition along with Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico and the UN Environmental Program to address short-lived climate pollutants, including methane, black carbon, and the hydrofluorocarbons. These pollutants are responsible for more than 30 percent of current global warming. Since the coalition's launch, all G-8 countries as well as Colombia, Denmark, Nigeria, Norway, the European Commission, and the World Bank have joined the initiative.
At today's event, Secretary Clinton announced that Sweden and the United States are beginning a global campaign to provide information about short-lived climate pollutants. Secretary Clinton said, "Few people actually know about the impact we could have on global warming if we aggressively target them. And fewer still know that many cost-effective solutions already exist and are just waiting to be broadly implemented. We, in fact, are going to be holding a global contest to find the best, most creative ideas for raising awareness about short-lived pollutants and the work that must be done to stop them. So I invite everyone to visit the coalition's new website for further information. The address is www.UNEP.org/CCAC."
Secretary Clinton concluded, "...We inherited a fragile, marvelous planet, and it's our duty to protect it. So we're very grateful, once again, to be working hand in hand with Sweden. We've already made progress on the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in less than four months. And we're going to continue working closely with Sweden and our other partners. And we are determined to take aggressive action in the months ahead. We can do no less."
You can view photographs of Secretary Clinton's visit to Sweden, her third stop on a seven-country trip, on the U.S. Embassy's Facebook page. The Secretary will travel to Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey June 4-7. In each of these countries, she will discuss important issues of regional security, democracy, economic development, and counterterrorism. You can follow her trip on www.state.gov.