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Natural disasters and climate-related risks: Switzerland appeals for closer links between disaster risk reduction, climate change and development cooperation

26.05.2017 — Media release EDA
Natural disasters and climate-related risks threaten to reverse hard-won gains in development. These and other challenges were the focal point of the fifth session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which took place from 22 to 26 May 2017 in Cancún, Mexico. At the conference, Switzerland appealed for closer cooperation in the fields of disaster risk reduction, climate change and development cooperation.


Attack in Egypt – FDFA position statement

26.05.2017 — Media release EDA
The FDFA is deeply saddened by the latest attack on Egypt’s Coptic Christians killing and injuring many people including children. It condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms.


Human rights under pressure in Europe: the Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks call for the protection of human rights

24.05.2017 — Media release EDA
"Protecting human rights is of fundamental importance for Switzerland and needs our full attention", said Mr Burkhalter during his meeting with Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks. The system to ensure the protection of human rights in Europe was under pressure, he said. Mr Muižnieks is currently evaluating the situation with regard to human rights in Switzerland on behalf of the Council of Europe. The meeting in Bern therefore also addressed human rights in Switzerland.


Swiss-Rwandan relations enter a new phase: development through vocational skills training and multilateral cooperation

22.05.2017 — Media release EDA
“Today’s meeting is an opportunity to review the situation and open up a new phase in our countries’ relations”. This proposal made by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter was welcomed by Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo during their official meeting in Bern. Specifically, the two ministers decided to expand relations in areas of shared interest, in particular at the multilateral level and in conflict prevention. They also reviewed priorities in the field of development cooperation, giving greater importance to vocational skills training, access to water, and good governance in the Great Lakes region, which also includes Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After the talks, the Swiss and Rwandan ministers signed an aviation agreement.


Ministerial session of the Council of Europe: Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter calls on the 47 member states to strengthen their common values

19.05.2017 — Media release EDA
At the opening of the 127th ministerial session of the Council of Europe on Friday, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, called on the 47 member states to strengthen their common values. The Council of Europe has set up a strong protection system that respects the sovereignty of states and enshrines the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms at the continental level, said Mr Burkhalter.


Didier Burkhalter focuses on strengthening relations between Switzerland and Jordan and on the Syrian humanitarian crisis during visit to Amman

19.05.2017 — Media release EDA
On Friday, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, signed a memorandum of understanding in Amman strengthening bilateral relations between Switzerland and Jordan. Mr Burkhalter then visited the Azraq refugee camp, where he officially opened a water supply system funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation which gives 35,000 Syrian refugees in the camp direct access to drinking water.


Promoting Switzerland at Expo 2020 in Dubai

17.05.2017 — Media release EDA
On 17 May 2017, the Federal Council adopted the credit dispatch for Switzerland’s participation in Expo 2020 in Dubai (United Arab Emirates, UAE). The total budget is CHF 14.84 million, about half of which will financed by third party funds. The theme of Expo 2020 is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". By participating in Expo 2020, Switzerland will be able to showcase its strengths – particularly in the areas of education, research, innovation and business – throughout the region. Expo 2020 also offers Switzerland an excellent opportunity to communicate to an international audience what it stands for and the values it represents.



Didier Burkhalter in Cyprus for the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and in Jordan to inaugurate a water supply system in a refugee camp

16.05.2017 — Media release EDA
Migration, its consequences and what a country like Switzerland can do to help will be at the top of the agenda during Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter's two-day trip to Cyprus and Jordan. Mr Burkhalter, who is head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will be in Cyprus on Friday to attend the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. He will then go to Amman, the capital of Jordan, to inaugurate a water supply system in Azraq refugee camp. Switzerland's support for victims of the Syrian crisis is the country's largest humanitarian operation to date.


Didier Burkhalter meets Sudanese foreign minister in Bern

16.05.2017 — Media release EDA
On 16 May 2017 Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter received Ibrahim Ghandour, the Sudanese foreign minister, in Bern. It is the first time since 2005 that a meeting at ministerial level has taken place between the two countries. The meeting covered recent developments in Sudan, the country's role in the region and opportunities for dialogue and cooperation to enable progress in the areas of political reform, human rights promotion and compliance, the management of migration and the protection of migrants.


Switzerland obtains observer status in the Arctic Council

12.05.2017 — Media release EDA
At its ministerial meeting held on 11 May 2017 in Fairbanks, Alaska, the Arctic Council granted Switzerland observer status. As an observer, Switzerland can now contribute expert knowledge to the Council at the level of working groups, particularly in the interdisciplinary area of climate change research. The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum promoting the environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainable development in the Arctic.

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