The Association of Foreign Affairs in Lund (abbreviated to UPF Lund from its Swedish name, Utrikespolitiska Föreningen) provides a space for students and those interested in exploring the world of politics and foreign affairs. UPF’s official language is English. It was founded on February 8th, 1935 to disseminate information and encourage debate on international economic and political issues.
UPF has eight working committees open for all members to join. We host lectures that have been presented by prominent lecturers such as Margot Wallström, Kofi Annan, Cecilia Malmström and Jan Eliasson. There are several media outlets such as the web magazine The Perspective Webzine, the physical magazine The Perspecitve Magazine, and the award-winning The Perspective Radio. Our travel committee organizes regular trips nationally and abroad, and a cooperation with the Lund Diplomatic Club has recently resulted in a Mentorship Programme and a Prep Course for members interested in an international career.
The founder and first chairperson of the association was Gösta Lindeberg (1910-1995) who, together with the board of Lund Academic Association for the League of Nations (Lunds Akademiska Förening för Nationernas Förbund), decided to establish the Association for Foreign Affairs.
According to the founders, the League of Nations Association lacked a sufficiently broad basis to impartially study all international issues. The new association would adhere to the fundamental principles of the League of Nations, but it was to be politically and religiously independent. Through the years UPF has taken various forms and been connected with both the United Nations and the Red Cross. Since 1986, UPF is a fully independent student association.
Despite the first paragraph of the UPF Charter, which establishes political independence, the Association has both followed and resisted political currents of the surrounding world. During the Second World War, UPF adopted a pro-British attitude, while during the 1960s and 1970s it displayed left-wing tendencies. Contemporary debate, while characterized by humanistic values, has no clear leaning to either side of the political spectrum.
The core activities of the Association remained the same throughout UPF's existence: current issues of international politics have been debated in lectures, seminars, discussion nights and study circles. Members have visited foreign countries, made study trips in and around Sweden, and hosted parties and formal dinners. Since 1935, almost all Swedish Foreign Ministers have given lectures for the association.
85 years has passed since the Association of Foreign Affairs, by students referred to as UPF, once started. Since then the association has greatly contributed to knowledge and awareness on issues of foreign affairs and through its operations created a platform for discussion and debate in a politically and religiously independent fashion. Although these by-laws have been updated to better lead and describe the work of the association today. To not lose track of the long history of UPF the following brief text is to be kept together with the by-laws, although the current board is always welcomed to update the text after a board decision.
1935 - A collection of 40 students and teachers from Lund University decided to create a forum to discuss the international events occurring around them “An association nonpolitically established to pursue educational and study activities in international affairs”. There was only one committee in the association, the lecture committee.
1940 - On April 20th the association decides to put all the activities on hold due to the “uncertain situation in the rest of Europe”
Second World War - As opposed(!) to the rest of Lund and its students life, the association took an active stand, together with Lundagård, against Germany and had a pro-British profile.
1942 - The PR committee was established and the first UPF posters were printed
1951 - The newly established travel committee went on their first journey, it went to Paris by train. - Utrikespolitiska Föreningen (UF) was merged with FN-föreningen Studentföreningen i Lund för Mellanfolkligt Samarbete (SLMS) that dated back to 1949. Which lead to a change in names to Organ för upplysning om utrikespolitik och FN, The United Nations Student Association. This also included a membership in Studentförbundet för Mellanfolkligt Samarbete (SFMS).
1953 - SFMS changed their name to Sveriges Studenters FN-förbund (SSFN) and became a part of the International Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN).
1963 - The first magazine was printed, under the name Utrikesnytt, 5 years later this would change to Utrikespolitisk Aspekt and become free for all members. Later on the name was changed again, this time to Utrikesperspektiv.
1967 - UF became UPF.
1972 - SSFN changed name to Utrikespolitiska föreningarnas FN- förbund (UFFN).
1981 – The first “Sexmästare” (Head of activity) was elected but it took until 1996 until the post was accompanied by a committee, the one that we today call the activity committee.1984 - UPF withdrawls from UFFN and instead had a trial period as a local association for Svenska Röda Korset.
1986 – The annual meeting decided not to continue the deal with Svenska Röda Korset and then became an independent student organisation.
1997 – The Radio Committee arises, back then the radio shows where broadcasted on Sundays.
- On April 20th UPF and the associations on foreign affairs in Gothenburg, Umeå, Uppsala and Växjö together created the association Sveriges Utrikespolitiska Föreningar. An association for cooperation amongst all associations on foreign affairs in Sweden.
2000 – Due to the huge amount of active members in the magazine committee the webzine committee was created to publish articles online under the same name as the magazine, Utrikesperspektiv. Later on the name would change to Tellus for a while, but then change back again.
2007 – Utrikespolitiska Förbundet Sverige (UFS) / Swedish Association of International Affairs (UFS) accepted new by-laws an active corporation association between the associations of foreign affairs in Sweden.
2010 – The association hosts a 75 years anniversary by hosting a ball.
2015 – The Association celebrates 80 years with a grand anniversary including a ball in the AF building and a lecture symposium.
2016 – When the board of 2016-2017 starts its year of operation and these by-laws are written the association also enters its first year with all activities in English, this due to the decisions to not have any Swedish articles in the magazine and to give the prep course, hosted by the career committee, in English.
2017 – The activity committee organizes and hosts the first UPF annual ball at Grand Hotel. During this year, Utrikesperspektiv changed name to The Perspective.
2020 – The Association turns 85 years. Planned on celebrating with the annual ball.
- The pandemic COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) hit Lund. All of UPFs events were cancelled until further notice. In conjunction with this, UPF held its first digital board meeting, and continued having digital board meetings from March and onwards. UPF also held its first digital Annual Election Meeting in May.
Former Lecturers at UPF Lund
Byråchef Sven Backlund, October 24th “UN in the Center”
U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, John M Cabot, January 30th
Israel’s Cultural attaché to Sweden, Yeluda Yaari April 23rd
Egypt’s Trade attaché, Abd El Aty May 14th
Embassy secretary of Pakistan, Abdu Razzak December 4th
Indian Ambassador to Sweden, I.S. Chopra 22 February
Chinese Ambassador to Sweden, April 24th
Greece’s ambassador to Sweden, Alexis Kyrou March 17th “Greece’s role in international politics with special reference to the question of Cyrus”
U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, James C.H. Bonbright, September 16th
Swedish Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Sverker Åström October 16th “Why is Sweden neutral?”
Member of the Swedish Parliament, CG Regnell November 2nd
South Africa’s minister to Stockholm, J.E. Bruce February 25nd “The Contemporary South African Scene”
Anntoni Szimanowsky March 22nd “Poland's position between Russia and East Germany”
India’s ambassador to Sweden, Kewal Singh April 8th “The Relationship between India and China”
Japanese Ambassador to Sweden, Akira Matsui September 23rd
Former Danish Minister of Defence, Ole Bjørn Kraft December 9th “On the Doorstep to a New Age”
Former Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Östen Undén February 7th “The Foreign Policy of Sweden after the War”
Italian social activist, Danilo Dolci February 8th “South Italian and Sicilian social, economic and political problems
President of the International Commission of Jurists, Vivian Bose March 13th
Czechoslovakia's ambassador Jaroslav Havelka May 15th
U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, James Graham Parsons September 15th “Far Eastern Affairs”
American diplomat, Alfred L. Jenkins October 25th
Olof Wahlgren September 26th “The French-Algerian problems”
British Ambassador to Sweden, Robert Hankey November 12th
Prime Minister of Iceland, Bjarni Benediktsson