The Nordic Africa Institute


Looking Back and Reflecting: Sweden’s Engagement with Civil Society in 2017-18 

Discussions during UN meeting

UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Time • 12 Oct 2021 15:00 - 16:30
Place • Zoom

This is the first of two roundtable discussions to exchange knowledge and expertise on the UN Security Council's group of elected member states (E10) in favour of women, peace and security (WPS).

This event focuses on Sweden in the UN Security Council during 2017-18 and civil society engagement. Sweden entered the Security Council in 2017 with a feminist foreign policy and a vested interest in promoting Women, Peace and Security (WPS).

Consequently, Sweden had a concrete aim of contributing to women’s inclusion in UN Security Council (UNSC) debates and decisions. As a step to achieving these intentions and goals, Sweden built extensive and active collaborations with civil society.

The roundtable brings together researchers from NAI, PRIO and the University of Pretoria, as well as government policy-, and decision-makers, representatives from the UN, and civil society stakeholders from both Sweden and Africa.

Watch the recorded webinar here:



While the call for improved state-civil society engagement rings strong in WPS, there is a need to recognize that collaboration and commitment can take many different forms and that civil society consists of a diverse set of actors. Thus, this roundtable focuses on learning from key experiences during Sweden’s Security Council term. By encouraging a critical debate on different approaches, the webinar seeks to contribute with insights that can be used to strengthen engagements between UNSC states and diverse civil society actors.

To that end, the roundtable presents and builds on the findings from the PRIO paper Sweden as an Elected Member of the UN Security Council: Promoting Women, Peace and Security as Core Council Business, 2017-18 Pdf, 1.7 MB, opens in new window.. First, several different variants of state-civil society collaboration will be outlined based on insights from the abovementioned research report. Thereafter, the webinar will turn to learning more about the civil society perspective, and the various opportunities observed during Sweden’s term. The roundtable will consider examples of meaningful cooperation between government and civil society organisations, including practical lessons learned by all actors. Lastly, the event concludes with reflections on what these lessons can entail for current practices of elected states.

  • Welcome
    Therése Sjömander Magnusson, Director, NAI
  • Research Reflections: What is State – Civil Society Collaboration in Practice?
    Louise Olsson, Senior Researcher, PRIO and leader of the project “Sweden in the UNSC”
  • The Practice During Sweden’s UN Security Council term: What did we learn?
    Chair: Angela Muvumba Sellström, Senior Researcher, NAI
    Presenters: Per-Axel Frielingsdorf, Counsellor, Former Co-chair, Informal Working Group-WPS and WPS Lead, Swedish Permanent Mission to the UN (2017-2018), Klara Backman, Advocacy Advisor, Kvinna till Kvinna
  • Q&A
    Initial questions by participants from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Life and Peace Institute
  • Closing Reflections

The webinar will be moderated by Dr. Angela Muvumba Sellström, Senior Researcher, NAI

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