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UN Human Rights Council in Geneva – Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis quotes Nobel laureate Elias Canetti: "The hardest thing is to keep rediscovering what you already know"

24.02.2020 — Press release EDA
In 2019 the world reflected on 100 years of multilateralism in Geneva, where the focus has been on the fundamental rights and dignity of the individual. In 2020 the UN will celebrate its 75th anniversary. It too sees in its Charter the strengthening of human rights as a prerequisite for peace and sustainable development. Reaffirming, promoting and defending these values is a task for all of us, said Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis at the opening of the spring session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 24 February 2020.



Federal Council adopts the International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24

19.02.2020 — Press release EDA
Sustainable global development, coupled with poverty reduction, is indispensable for a stable international order and thus also in Switzerland's interests. At its meeting on 19 February 2020, the Federal Council adopted the Dispatch on Switzerland's Strategy for International Cooperation 2021–24 (International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24). Swiss development cooperation will become more focused, thereby enhancing its effectiveness. With its International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24, the Federal Council is requesting five framework credits totalling CHF 11.25 billion over four years. The thematic focus areas of the new strategy are the creation of decent jobs locally, mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects, reducing the causes of irregular migration and promoting the rule of law. Going forward, still greater use will be made of the potential of the private sector and digitalisation. Multilateralism remains an important pillar of Switzerland's international cooperation.


Switzerland to contribute to capital increases at the World Bank Group and African Development Bank

19.02.2020 — Press release EDA
Switzerland intends to contribute CHF 297 million to capital increases at the World Bank Group WBG and the African Development Bank AfDB. The Federal Council adopted the relevant dispatch on 19 February 2020. The WBG and the AfDB are priority multilateral organisations in terms of Switzerland’s international cooperation, and are key actors in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly with regard to tackling poverty. They support developing countries by granting loans and providing technical assistance.


Results in the 2017–20 period: Switzerland's international cooperation is working

19.02.2020 — Press release EDA
Switzerland achieved most of its international cooperation objectives in the 2017–20 period, helping to save lives, reduce poverty, create economic prospects and promote peace. At its meeting on 19 February 2020, the Federal Council approved the final report on the implementation of the Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–20. The various development cooperation, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding programmes have produced the desired outcomes. The commitment to sustainable development also ensures security and prosperity for Switzerland and provides a strong basis for the new International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24.


Switzerland postpones the Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety

19.02.2020 — Press release EDA
The Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety, which was to be held in Montreux on 27 and 28 February, has been postponed because numerous participants must remain in their own countries to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic. Switzerland has therefore decided to reschedule the summit for a later date. Health experts and policymakers from around the globe had been due to gather to discuss the quality of healthcare and the measures that need to be taken.


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.


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