In a one-on-one meeting, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) briefed Mr Shingiro on the Federal Council's new Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24. The two foreign ministers discussed the good cooperation between their countries at bilateral and multilateral level as well as the human rights situation in Burundi. Mr Cassis called on Burundi to implement concrete reforms in this area and reaffirmed Switzerland's willingness to support the country in this regard.
Switzerland is active in Burundi within the framework of the regional cooperation programme for the Great Lakes, which comprises development cooperation, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding. In Burundi, Switzerland supports projects focused on economic development and vocational training, improving health and governance, conflict prevention and combating violence against women, among others.
As chair of the Burundi Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, since 2009 Switzerland has also advocated for coherent support from the international community to Burundi. Through the coordinated deployment of its foreign policy instruments, Switzerland promotes respect for human rights and contributes to reconciliation, sustainable development and poverty reduction in Burundi. Switzerland plays an important role as a bridge builder in this capacity.
Various aspects of Switzerland's bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Burundi were discussed in depth at a working meeting between Foreign Minister Shingiro and FDFA Deputy State Secretary Johannes Matyassy, SDC Director General Patricia Danzi, the head of the Africa Division, Siri Walt, and the head of the Peace and Human Rights Division, Simon Geissbühler.
Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the priority regions of the International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24. In its Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23, the Federal Council identified peace and security, prosperity and sustainability as priorities for sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr Shingiro has been visiting several European capitals since 26 April and was received in Bern on 3 May.
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