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UN Security Council: harnessing the potential of science for peace and security

17.05.2024 — Press releases EDA
Switzerland organised a meeting of the UN Security Council on 17 May 2024 to strengthen collaboration between the scientific community and the council. Incorporating science into the council's decision-making process can foster mutual trust and help prevent conflicts, promoting sustainable peace – a key priority for the Federal Council during Switzerland's Security Council membership in 2023–24.


Private security services provided abroad in 2023: eighth FDFA report on PSSA implementation

15.05.2024 — Press releases EDA
At its meeting on 15 May 2024, the Federal Council took note of the eighth annual report on the implementation of the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad (PSSA). The Act requires companies intending to offer private security services abroad from Switzerland to declare the services to the competent authority in advance. In 2023, the FDFA received 95 declarations from companies. No activities were prohibited.


Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis to attend Council of Europe ministerial meeting in Strasbourg

13.05.2024 — Press releases EDA
The head of the FDFA, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, will attend the 133rd session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 16 and 17 May 2024, which will be held under the presidency of the Principality of Liechtenstein. The discussions will focus on the war against Ukraine and the adoption of a framework convention on artificial intelligence. Mr Cassis will also take part in the ceremony marking the council's 75th anniversary.


The Federal Council intends to release CHF 10 million for emergency aid in Gaza

08.05.2024 — Press releases EDA
At its meeting on 8 May 2024, the Federal Council decided to make a contribution of CHF 10 million to the humanitarian aid appeal of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The CHF 10 million contribution is exclusively earmarked for Gaza and will be used to provide the urgent assistance specified in the UNRWA Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory covering the period April–December 2024. In its overall assessment, the Federal Council drew on the analysis of the Colonna report and coordination with other donors. The Federal Council will submit this decision to the foreign affairs committees of the National Council and Council of States for consultation.


Ignazio Cassis meets Brazilian foreign minister

30.04.2024 — Press releases EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis has received the Brazilian foreign minister, Mauro Vieira, in Solothurn. Political and economic relations and collaboration in the fields of sustainability, science and multilateral forums were at the heart of the discussions. The Brazilian minister's Swiss origins were also discussed.


Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis at World Economic Forum special meeting in Riyadh

27.04.2024 — Press releases EDA
On Sunday 28 April, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will travel to Saudi Arabia for a World Economic Forum special meeting. In his capacity as head of the FDFA, Mr Cassis was invited by his Saudi counterpart to attend the two-day event which aims to bridge the growing North-South divide by promoting global collaboration.


Independent UN institution in Geneva to investigate the fate of missing persons in Syria

25.04.2024 — Press releases EDA
On 24 April 2024, the UN General Assembly approved funding for an independent institution to investigate cases of missing persons in Syria, to be based in Geneva. As part of its peace policy, Switzerland is firmly committed to clarifying the fate of detained and missing persons. In doing so, it is making a significant contribution to dealing with the past, which is central to peace processes – including in Syria. Switzerland therefore welcomes the international community's decision for the institution to begin its work in International Geneva in 2024.


The SDC and the SNSF continue their collaboration

25.04.2024 — Press releases EDA
The r4d programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) came to a close today at a public event in Bern. The two institutions also took the opportunity to launch a new programme called Solution-oriented Research for Development (SOR4D). The two programmes involve the implementation of projects in the fields of health, food security, social conflicts, ecosystems, employment and income in developing countries.


Federal Council consults foreign affairs committees on aid payments to Middle East

24.04.2024 — Press releases EDA
At its meeting on 24 April 2024, the Federal Council decided to proceed with the planned use of CHF 56 million of humanitarian funding earmarked for the Middle East. The FDFA has been instructed to consult with the foreign affairs committees on this matter. A decision on the disbursement of the Swiss contribution to UNRWA will be made at a later date.


Ignazio Cassis receives Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg in Bern

23.04.2024 — Press releases EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the FDFA, received Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs Alexander Schallenberg in Bern today. Their discussions focused on the close bilateral relations between the two countries, Switzerland's European policy, current international affairs and the security situation. Both ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to promoting global peace.


Switzerland strengthens humanitarian demining capacities in Ukraine

18.04.2024 — Press releases EDA
On 17–18 April, representatives from more than 50 countries and organisations gathered at an international workshop in Kyiv to discuss measures for identifying and clearing mines and unexploded ordnance in Ukraine. Good coordination of national activities and international support is crucial to ensure that this work can progress swiftly and effectively. The workshop was co-organised by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). Switzerland, whose delegation at the conference was led by Ambassador Simon Geissbühler, has a long history of supporting humanitarian demining through the GICHD and other organisations. Clearing the country of mines is a key prerequisite for Ukraine's recovery.


Palestine's application for full membership of the United Nations

18.04.2024 — Press releases EDA
Palestine's application for full UN membership will not be submitted to the UN General Assembly due to the veto by the United States on 18 April in the UN Security Council. Switzerland abstained from the vote. After assessing the situation and consulting with the chairs of the parliamentary foreign affairs committees, the Federal Council concluded that granting Palestine full UN membership at this time would not be conducive to easing the situation and peace efforts in the Middle East. Switzerland remains committed to the two-state solution.

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