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Advancing development: Switzerland’s specialisation in vocational education and training

23.06.2017 — Media release EDA
A thousand people attended this year's Annual Development Cooperation Conference which took place on Friday 23 June at the EPFL in Lausanne. In his opening speech, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann underlined Switzerland’s valuable expertise in the field of vocational training. He stated that the country had a key role to play in development cooperation in the years to come by sharing its long-standing experience to help overcome major challenges in this area.

2017–2020 strategy: Switzerland continues fight against illicit trade in and misuse of small arms and light weapons

23.06.2017 — Media release EDA
Every year, more than half a million people worldwide suffer a violent death. No other weapons category causes more violent deaths than small arms. Despite international efforts – in which Switzerland plays an active role – these weapons continue to pose a threat to peace, security and development in many parts of the world. Switzerland has therefore defined the objectives and priorities for its commitment in this area for the period 2017–2020. It will continue to make a concrete contribution at the political and operational levels to protection from armed violence.

Switzerland renews its financial support to UNICEF

21.06.2017 — Media release EDA
At its meeting of 21 June 2017 the Federal Council decided to renew its overall contribution of CHF 22 million to UNICEF for 2017. UNICEF plays a decisive role in the promotion of children’s rights. It is especially active in protecting children in armed conflicts. UNICEF has played a major role in drastically reducing infant mortality.

2016: Switzerland’s commitment to creating long-term prospects

20.06.2017 — Media release EDA
Disasters and protracted conflicts, forced migration, rising inequality: 2016 saw troubled times for much of the planet. In the face of these challenges, Switzerland strengthened its engagement in fragile and conflict-affected regions and worked to develop sustainable solutions in partner countries. The Annual Report, published jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), examines the results of Switzerland's international cooperation in 2016.

Swiss enlargement contribution: 10 country programmes in central and eastern Europe come to a successful close

19.06.2017 — Media release EDA
The 10-year implementation period for Switzerland’s enlargement contribution to the 10 central and eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 came to an end on 14 June 2017. Under the contribution, Parliament approved a total of CHF 1 billion to implement 210 projects which have helped reduce economic and social disparities among broad sections of the population living in the EU. In so doing, Switzerland has demonstrated its solidarity with these countries and has been able to consolidate ties with the new EU member states in a number of areas, including Swiss businesses.

Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter launches ‘Blue Peace’ initiative for transboundary water management in Central Asia

19.06.2017 — Media release EDA
Switzerland is assisting five Central Asian states in developing solutions for managing transboundary water resources. “Reaching agreement on common structures for water utilisation creates trust and strengthens cooperation,” Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter declared in Astana at the launch of Switzerland’s Blue Peace initiative for Central Asia. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) also met young people at the Swiss pavilion at Expo 2017 in Astana and discussed their visions for the future regarding water.

An important partner in water diplomacy: Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter in political talks in Kazakhstan

19.06.2017 — Media release EDA
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter has met with Kazakhstan's foreign minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov and Speaker of the Senate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana. Apart from certain bilateral issues and economic cooperation, the talks also focused on security aspects and on water diplomacy, an area in which Switzerland and Kazakhstan are now closely collaborating. With the Blue Peace Central Asia initiative, Switzerland supports Kazakhstan and other central Asian states in the dialogue to build structures for transboundary water management in Central Asia. Kazakhstan is a member of the high-level panel launched by Switzerland to develop the global architecture to prevent water-related conflicts.

Le Conseil fédéral adopte le rapport 2016 sur la politique migratoire extérieure

16.06.2017 — Media release EDA
Le Conseil fédéral a adopté, lors de sa séance du 16 juin 2017, son rapport 2016 sur les activités concernant la politique migratoire extérieure de la Suisse. L’année sous revue a été marquée par les conflits armés qui persistent en Syrie et en Irak et la situation difficile des personnes réfugiées dans les pays voisins, ainsi que par le contexte délicat de la Corne de l’Afrique. En 2016, la Suisse s’est fortement engagée en faveur de solutions durables dans les régions en crise. Son engagement s’est manifesté notamment par une aide humanitaire sur le terrain, des programmes de protection, et la promotion des droits de l’homme et de la paix. Au niveau multilatéral, une déclaration politique visant à protéger les réfugiés et les migrants a pu être adoptée lors du sommet de l’ONU consacré aux réfugiés et aux migrants.

Cross-border water management as an instrument for stability: Federal Councillor Burkhalter opens conference in Astana

15.06.2017 — Media release EDA
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter is scheduled to launch a Swiss initiative that sets a new course for cross-border water cooperation in central Asia. This will take place at a conference in the Kazakh capital Astana on 19 June 2017. In his opening speech, Mr Burkhalter will emphasise that structured water management is a factor for stability. The conference in Astana builds on Switzerland’s long-standing engagement for sustainable water use in the region.

Switzerland and Ukraine strengthen bilateral relations

07.06.2017 — Media release EDA
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, spent Wednesday, the second day of his visit to Ukraine, in discussions focused on strengthening bilateral relations, Swiss aid, efforts to ensure peace in Ukraine and strengthening cooperation in the field of migration. Mr Burkhalter met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkine, Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Vadym Chernysh, and representatives of the Ukrainian civil society.

Swiss flower power at Expo 2017 Astana

06.06.2017 — Media release EDA
On 10 June, the Swiss pavilion will open its doors at Expo 2017 Astana. The first world exhibition to be held in Central Asia is dedicated to the theme of ‘Future Energy’. The Swiss pavilion, organised by Presence Switzerland, showcases Switzerland as an innovative country with an interactive and surprising exhibition on the issues of energy efficiency, renewable energies and global water management.

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