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Switzerland helps East African communities fight locust swarms

18.02.2020 — Press release EDA
East Africa has been hit by a massive infestation of desert locusts. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is donating CHF 1 million to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). As the situation evolves, the SDC may need to mobilise additional funding in partner countries.


Federal Council to welcome Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo on state visit

17.02.2020 — Press release EDA
At the end of February, Ghana’s head of state, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will pay a state visit to Switzerland. The last time Switzerland received a head of state from a Sub-Saharan country was sixty years ago. In issuing the invitation, the Federal Council acknowledges the long-standing excellent relations between Switzerland and Ghana. The state visit is also a sign of the increasing contact with countries on the African continent and the bright outlook for political and economic cooperation.


Switzerland commits CHF 10.2 million following November earthquake in Albania

17.02.2020 — Press release EDA
At an international donor conference in Brussels on 17 February, Switzerland pledged a contribution of some CHF 10.2 million to help Albania address the significant damage caused by the earthquake of 26 November 2019. This was the most violent earthquake the country had experienced in the last 40 years. The conference was organised at the initiative of the European Commission.


Belarus: Ignazio Cassis meets President Lukashenka and Foreign Minister Makej at Swiss embassy opening

13.02.2020 — Press release EDA
On 13 February 2020, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, held bilateral talks with President Aljaksandr Lukashenka and Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makej. This first official visit of a federal councillor to Belarus focused on stepping up bilateral relations, strengthening human rights, and the situation in the region, in particular the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The new Swiss embassy in Minsk, which was officially opened by Mr Cassis, is testament to the deepening of cooperation between the two countries.


The Federal Council seeks to address consistency problems in relation to private security services

12.02.2020 — Press release EDA
The Federal Council seeks to achieve greater harmonisation between the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided Abroad (PSSA), Goods Control Act (GCA) and War Material Act (WMA). It has issued instructions to this effect to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) and Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) at its meeting on 12 February 2020. The relevant proposals are based on a report produced by an interdepartmental working group.



Participation strengthens development: The SDC's commitment to good governance

04.02.2020 — Press release EDA
At this year's annual press conference, SDC Director General Manuel Sager presented the latest results from the current 2017–20 dispatch. Impact assessments in the field and independent evaluations confirm that the SDC is on track to meet the goals of the dispatch and that its programmes are producing the desired outcomes. The presentation also focused on the importance of good governance for sustainable development. The SDC works to ensure that democratic processes in its partner countries strengthen trust between citizens and state institutions, and lead to a satisfactory level of public services.



UK’s withdrawal from the EU: bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU continue to apply

31.01.2020 — Press release EDA
The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union at midnight on 31 January 2020 will not change the relationship between Switzerland and the UK in the near future: the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU will continue to apply to the UK until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 (which may be extended). Switzerland can use the transition period to continue to work out together with the UK their future relationship as part of the Swiss “Mind the Gap” strategy.


Women's strike, climate and Libra shaped Switzerland's image abroad in 2019

30.01.2020 — Press release EDA
Switzerland's image abroad in 2019 was multifaceted. Foreign media coverage of Switzerland focused mainly on the women's strike, Switzerland's efforts to address climate change and the electoral gains made by the Green parties in the federal elections. Facebook's plan to base its Libra cryptocurrency in Geneva also drew considerable attention. Switzerland enjoys an excellent reputation both in the media and among the general public abroad. Switzerland was once again near the top of the international league, at rank 8, in the Nations Brand Index (NBI), which surveys the global image of 50 countries.


Federal Council sets out foreign policy priorities for 2020–23

30.01.2020 — Press release EDA
At its meeting on 29 January, the Federal Council approved Switzerland's foreign policy strategy for the next four years. The thematic focus areas for 2020–23 are peace and security, prosperity, sustainability and digitalisation. The strategy also includes clear regional objectives worldwide, with a special focus on the EU, and new objectives for the external network and foreign policy communication. For the first time, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) prepared the foreign policy strategy as part of a broad interdepartmental process. The Federal Council thus intends to increase the coherence, effectiveness and credibility of Swiss foreign policy.


Federal Council report on international cooperation with NGOs

29.01.2020 — Press release EDA
The Federal Council's report on international cooperation with NGOs in partner countries, adopted at its meeting of 29 January 2020, has concluded that conditions for international cooperation with NGOs are good. According to the report, which the Federal Council produced in response to two parliamentary procedural requests, the FDFA's management and control instruments enable a careful selection of NGOs, ensure effective cooperation and allow professional management of risks. The FDFA incorporates the lessons learned from its cooperation with NGOs in politically highly polarised contexts like the Middle East conflict into the ongoing development of its toolkit.

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