WILPF UPR on Sweden Human Rights Council 15 Oral StatementSeptember 22, 2010
UN Human Rights Council session 15 Item 6, Consideration of UPR reports, Sweden
22nd of September 2010
Multiple Treaty Bodies have recommended the Swedish government allocate sufficient funding for the advancement of women. WILPF strongly supports these recommendations and requests the Swedish government to look upon disarmament and decrease of military spending as a way to ensure sufficient funds for women’s advancement. WILPF welcomes the steady decrease in military spending in Sweden, from 2.6% of the Gross Domestic Product in 1988 to 1.4% in GDP in 2007.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action calls on governments to “reduce excessive military expenditures and control the availability of armaments”, with the purpose of increasing the amount of available resources to inter alia human security, renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure.
Between 2000-2007 Sweden was the 8th largest supplier of armaments to Developing Nations. In these 7 years Swedish arms sales generated an income of $US 2.9 billion. This positions Sweden just after US, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, Germany and Israel.
WILPF would refer to an extensive arms export deal carried out with Pakistan by Sweden in June 2006, at the price of $US 1.2 billion. This amount is 12 times the annual budget Pakistan dedicates to ensuring water and sanitation for its population.
In total between 2004- 2008 Sweden transferred $US 27 million worth of arms to Pakistan.
States have particular obligations with regard to how and with whom it conducts its trade. Priority should be given to enhancing human rights; human rights based developments and environmental protection.
Selling arms to unstable countries undermines the principle of the “Responsibility to protect and facilitates budget allocations contrary to both the letter and the spirit of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Charter and recommendations from Treaty bodies.
WILPF calls on Sweden to reconsider such trade policies, in particular the sale of arms and equipment so as to comply with its obligations.
Thank you Chairperson