During 19–23 November Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström visits Bangladesh, Myanmar and Vietnam. Margot Wallström will begin her journey by visiting refugee camps in Bangladesh, to which more than 620 000 Rohingya have fled from violence and abuse in Myanmar since August. In addition to refugees, Ms Wallström will meet representatives of the Government of Bangladesh, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organisation for Migration and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The visit is being made together with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel.
“There is a serious humanitarian situation in the camps near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Reports show how Rohingya have fled from horrendous abuse and sexual and gender-based violence. By visiting the camps and speaking to representatives who are dealing with the situation there, I can form an opinion regarding the needs, and bring my impressions to the talks I will have with regional representatives and ahead of further international efforts concerning this very difficult situation,” says Ms Wallström.
Peace, sustainable development and increased cooperation between Europe and Asia are among the issues on the agenda when Ms Wallström then meets with her European and Asian counterparts in Myanmar’s capital, Naypyidaw, for an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). This gathering of 51 European and Asian countries meets every second year at foreign minister level.
“The ASEM Summit is an opportunity to conduct a dialogue with my Asian counterparts on important global challenges, such as the participation of women in conflict prevention. It is also a good opportunity to discuss current issues in the region, in particular the situation in Rakhine State in Myanmar, but also other current issues such as North Korea, troubling political developments in Cambodia and tensions in the South China Sea,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.
The trip will conclude with a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, for political discussions and meetings with civil society.
“Sweden and Vietnam enjoy long-standing bilateral relations. It is important that we have a political dialogue with government representatives of Vietnam concerning issues of mutual interest, as well as human rights. I will also meet young Vietnamese and civil society actors,” says Ms Wallström.