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Middle East: the FDFA withdraws financial support for the Geneva Initiative

25.01.2022 — Press release EDA
Switzerland has been supporting the Geneva Initiative (GI) since it was launched in 2003. Due to the conclusions of an external evaluation and following the regular review of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ programmatic engagements, the FDFA has now decided to gradually withdraw its funding for the GI, which it supports through two local NGOs. Within the framework of its Cooperation Programme 2021–24, Switzerland remains fully committed to promoting peace in the Middle East and supports the vision formulated by the UN Security Council of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace and within secure and recognised borders. This position, which was reaffirmed by the Federal Council in October 2020, is laid down in the MENA Strategy 2021–24.


President Ignazio Cassis meets US secretary of state and Russian foreign minister

21.01.2022 — Press release EDA
President of the Swiss Confederation and head of the FDFA Ignazio Cassis held separate talks on Friday 21 January 2022 with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the occasion of the US-Russia meeting in Geneva. Their talks focused on the security situation in Europe and the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border.


Online event in the run-up to the Ukraine Reform Conference (URC2022)

20.01.2022 — Press release EDA
At an online event on 20 January, in preparation for the fifth Ukraine Reform Conference (URC) to be held in Lugano this summer, President Ignazio Cassis and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy set out their expectations for the conference. During a discussion with Swiss and Ukrainian business representatives, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal addressed the topic of reforms for investment in Ukraine.




50th anniversary of International Lake Constance Conference: President Cassis to strengthen cross-border cooperation

14.01.2022 — Press release EDA
On Friday, 14 January, the German, Austrian, Liechtenstein and Swiss representatives of the cantons and federal states that are a part of the International Lake Constance Conference (IBK) met on Mount Säntis to celebrate the Conference's 50th anniversary. President Ignazio Cassis also attended the event. The aim of the IBK is to promote cross-border cooperation in the Lake Constance area and to strengthen relations between the four neighbouring countries and regions near the border.


SDC and Swiss National Science Foundation launch development programme for transdisciplinary research, innovation and sustainability

13.01.2022 — Press release EDA
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) are jointly launching a new applied research programme focused on the fight against poverty and on sustainable development. The programme, undertaken in partnership with organisations directly involved in development, is aimed at researchers from Switzerland and the Global South. The SDC will contribute approximately CHF 19 million to the programme, set to run from 2022 to 2026. Research and innovation are key to achieving the objectives of the International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24.


President Cassis on first visit to Vienna

13.01.2022 — Press release EDA
On Thursday, 13 January 2022, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, travelled to Vienna for his first official visit. There he was received by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and exchanged views with Chancellor Karl Nehammer and the president of the Austrian National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka. Talks focused on bilateral relations, namely the strategic partnership that the two countries adopted last year, as well as on relations between Switzerland and the EU. Other major topics discussed were pan-European and international challenges. The trip to Vienna marks a decades-old tradition of each new Swiss and Austrian president making their first trip abroad to each other’s country, a sign of the friendly relationship between Switzerland and its Alpine neighbour.


Switzerland presents action plan for a more effective OSCE by 2025

13.01.2022 — Press release EDA
President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis has met with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on his first official trip abroad. In Vienna, Mr Cassis also visited the Secretariat of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), where he spoke with the new chairman of the OSCE, polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and with Secretary General Helga Schmid. At these meetings he presented Switzerland's action plan for the OSCE 2022–25.


President Ignazio Cassis to visit Vienna and Berlin

11.01.2022 — Press release EDA
In the next ten days President Ignazio Cassis will meet with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Liechtenstein's Prime Minister Daniel Risch. The visit to Vienna on Thursday continues a decades-old tradition of each new Swiss and Austrian president making their first trip abroad to each other’s country. Talks will focus on the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and Switzerland's European policy.



Drought in Madagascar: Switzerland provides additional contribution of CHF 900,000

29.12.2021 — Press release EDA
Switzerland is making an additional contribution of CHF 900,000 to help deal with the serious food crisis in Madagascar. In releasing this sum, which is intended to support the activities of the World Food Programme (WFP), Switzerland is responding to a recent joint appeal by the government of Madagascar and the UN for international aid. Alarming situations are also unfolding in many other countries where millions of people lack food because of armed conflict, economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change. In 2021, Switzerland provided a total of CHF 100 million – a new record – to support the WFP's activities, primarily in Africa.

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