Sunday, November 29, 2009

Swedish Ministers statements on Uganda‏

Swedish Ministers statements on Uganda‏.

Dear friends, for anyone interested in a little more detail on what the Swedish Minister of International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson has said on Uganda. I have Google translated (with a little improvement) her statements from the Saturday interview aired in the major radio news program (In Swedish:

------ I [Gunilla Carlsson] think it is terrible. My Secretary of State has in direct contacts with the government raised this. [.] I myself also tried to have contacts with organizations that work for those currently targeted for repression in Uganda. - I am also doubly disappointed, partly because Uganda is a country that we've had longstanding relationships with and where I had hoped and believed that we would begin to share common values and have an understanding.

It is unfortunate the matter directly, but it is also offensive how the Ugandans choose to look at how we see things and how we are treated when we would like to discuss these issues, " says Gunilla Carlsson. Uganda is an important recipient of Swedish aid and during the 2000s, the country has received an average of more than 31 million Euros per year. If the law against homosexuals is powered through the International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson believes that it will be difficult for Sweden to continue with development cooperation [in its current form]:

- It will be very difficult. We have seen in some other areas that we have been forced to channel aid in a different way, to try to work more with civil society organizations, rather than directly with governments, we are also considering to cut down on our assistance. This of course is met with reactions of the host governments as well, but it is the road that I must take, "says Gunilla Carlsson.

---------- Earlier in November RFSL organised meetings between representatives for Ugandan LGBT organizations and the Swedish Human Rights Ambassador as well as members of Parliament and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we have also demanded that Sweden stop foreign aid in the form of budget support to the Ugandan government. This demand has been articulated together with Ugandan LGBT activists.

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