Dear partners, colleagues, friends,

It is an honour for me to open the National Conference “Without bullying 365”. I am glad that we are joining forces in raising awareness on the fact that bullying remains a problem that we must tackle together.

In 2015, all members of the UN agreed on 17 Global Goals for a better world by 2030, so called Agenda 2030. These goals have the power to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. Guided by the goals, it is now up to all of us - governments, businesses, civil society -  to work together to build a better future for everyone. This includes combatting bullying and discrimination of others.

In order to achieve the Global Goals, and also to make structural changes in a society – like reducing the numbers of children being bullied permanently – long-standing commitments from all parts of society is crucial. To build a tolerant and sustainable environment, perseverance and endurance is key.

Bullying is an intentional aggressive behaviour towards another person. Bullying is a form of violence. What is absolutely sure for us – bullying and any other forms of violence should not take place in any society. No one in a society deserves such a treatment, no one in any society should be humiliated - not in kindergartens, nor in schools or in workplaces.

Aggression and violence takes place when people allow this to happen. The more people would express their disapproval and will take a stand against bullying, there will be less bullying in our schools and other places.

Bullying can be reduced by systematic work and involvement from government, schools, parents, NGOs and children themselves.

At the Embassy of Sweden, we are impressed by the constant work by our partners and friends from Vaiku Linija – we support your efforts in making your society safer, free of violence, free of bullying.

I am proud and glad that the Swedish organisation Friends, that is working against bullying for many years in Sweden, and Vaiku Linija in Lithuania have a close and long-lasting cooperation since 2016. I am also glad that Friends are here today, to share their experience on combatting bullying in Sweden.

Working for increased tolerance and against discrimination is a priority of the Swedish government, and has been so for many decades now. At the Embassy of Sweden, we are therefore engaging in projects, actions and in partnerships engaging in inclusion and integration of vulnerable groups in society.

We believe that all humans should be treated with equal respect and dignity – regardless of your origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or if you were born with a disability.

Children are especially vulnerable to discrimination. It is our responsibility as adults to teach our young that bullying and discrimination is never acceptable – and by joining forces our message will become stronger.

I wish you fruitful and inspiring conference. Thank you!