United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Stockholm from New York on the morning of Tuesday, 1 June.
After his arrival he met with Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, at the Sager Palace, where they had a working lunch. This was followed by a joint press encounter where he thanked Sweden for its steadfast support of the United Nations and multilateralism throughout the years. “Sweden stands out as a trailblazer for gender equality; a champion of climate action and sustainable development; a staunch defender of human rights and international law; a pioneer in the mediation and prevention of conflicts; and a critical and much-needed partner in humanitarian action and development assistance,” he said.
He also underscored that the war in Ukraine is inflaming a three-dimensional global crisis — food, energy and finance — that is pummelling the most vulnerable people, countries and economies, and he urged countries who are planning to cut official development assistance (ODA) to reconsider their stance, as these cuts will have dire consequences on the lives of the most vulnerable.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General went to Uppsala, where he met with the High-level Advisory Board on Multilateralism. The meeting was followed by a visit to the gravesite of former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.
The Secretary-General then returned to Stockholm where he had an interview with the evening news programme Aktuellt which airs on SVT, the national broadcast network. This was followed by a bilateral meeting with the United States Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry. They discussed the implications of the ongoing geopolitical situation on global efforts to combat the climate crisis. The Secretary-General emphasized that the war in Ukraine must be used as a moment to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and asked for Mr. Kerry’s continued support in mobilizing private and public financial institutions around the goals of the Paris Agreement.
That evening, the Secretary-General attended the high-level reception hosted by the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ann Christin Linde, and Minister for Climate and the Environment, Annika Strandhäll, at the Royal Swedish Opera.
The next day, the Secretary-General spoke at the opening of the Stockholm+50 conference. He said that today global well-being is in jeopardy, in large part because we have not kept our promises on the environment. As we have become more populous and prosperous, our environmental footprint has become unbearably heavy. The Secretary-General said that we know what to do to address the crises that our planet faces and, increasingly, we have the tools to do it. But we still lack leadership and cooperation. The Secretary-General appealed to leaders in all sectors to lead us out of this mess. He called on G20 Governments to dismantle coal infrastructure, with a full phase-out by 2030 for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and 2040 for all others. And he called on all financial actors to abandon fossil fuel finance and invest in renewable energy. (See Press Release SG/SM/21304.)
After the opening ceremony, the Secretary-General had an audience with His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Victoria. This was followed by a bilateral meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde and the Minister for International Development Cooperation, Matilda Ernkrans.
The Secretary-General then met with six members of the Stockholm+50 Youth Task Force before taking part in the Stockholm+50 family photo.
That afternoon, the Secretary-General attended a special high-level meeting hosted by Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, in the presence of His Majesty the King of Sweden and Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess.
At 3:30 p.m. he had a short courtesy greeting by the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Andreas Norlén, and he answered questions from a few members of the Parliament in a private meeting.
That evening, the Secretary-General attended a reception at the Royal Palace and a reception at City Hall hosted by the Mayor of Stockholm, Anna König Jerlmyr, where he had a meet and greet with the Mayor of Stockholm, as well as the Mayors of Helsinki, Juhana Vartiainen, and of Riga, Martins Stakis, both invited to Stockholm to participate in a High-level Forum on Sustainable Consumption, in connection to Stockholm+50.
The next day the Secretary-General had some office time in the morning, before leaving Stockholm at 2 p.m.