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Swiss expertise and innovation as tools of international cooperation

13.02.2018 — EDA
At this year’s annual press conference, the SDC unveiled the issues it will be focusing on in 2018 and discussed the importance of innovation for cooperation. The agency’s Director-General Manuel Sager took the opportunity to illustrate various ways in which the SDC co-opts Swiss experts and expertise onto development projects.


Meeting room at the Federal Palace West Wing dedicated to Carl Lutz

12.02.2018 — EDA
The west wing of the Federal Palace is where FDFA senior management meet – the nerve centre of Swiss foreign policy. A room here has been named 'Carl Lutz' in honour of the department's former diplomat who helped save the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest during the Second World War. A ceremony has been held to mark the occasion, introduced by FDFA head Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis.


Federal Council concludes privileges and immunities agreement with Medicines Patent Pool

12.02.2018 — Media release EDA
On 12 February 2018, Ambassador Corinne Cicéron Bühler, deputy director of the Directorate of International Law of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, acting on behalf of the Federal Council, and Marie-Paule Kieny, in her capacity as chairperson of the governing board of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), signed an agreement between the Federal Council and the MPP on the privileges and immunities of the organisation in Switzerland.


FDFA alarmed by intensified fighting in Syrian conflict

12.02.2018 — Media release EDA
The FDFA is monitoring with concern recent military developments in Syria and the major implications they have for the civilian population. Hostilities in the Afrin region, attacks against numerous medical facilities in Idlib Governorate, intensified bombardments in Eastern Ghouta and rocket fire in the Damascus suburbs have resulted in hundreds of civilian victims and destroyed major civil infrastructure. The FDFA is especially concerned about recent allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Idlib Governorate and Eastern Ghouta. The FDFA is also worried about the risk of the armed conflict spreading into neighbouring countries.


Fostering freedom of expression and strengthening civil society: the role of culture in development cooperation

09.02.2018 — Media release EDA
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supports various projects in culture and the arts in partner countries because artists and culture professionals have an important role to play in shaping economic, social and cultural life. The exchange of ideas between artists from countries of the South and East and Switzerland is therefore the focus of 'CROSSROADS – International perspectives on culture, art and society', an event co-organised by the SDC and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia in Basel and Geneva from 8 to 10 February.


Starting shot for the House of Switzerland at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

07.02.2018 — Media release EDA
Today the House of Switzerland opens its doors two days before the start of the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Hosted by Presence Switzerland, the House of Switzerland is the meeting place in Pyeongchang for Swiss athletes, their fans and sports enthusiasts from around the world. The House of Switzerland will also be used together with public and private-sector partners to present Switzerland to the South Korean and international public as an ideal tourist destination and a country of innovation and sports enthusiasts.


Switzerland and Bangladesh pave the way for deeper relations

07.02.2018 — EDA
On Wednesday, 7 February, President Alain Berset concluded his visit to Bangladesh, the first by a Swiss president. The two countries wish to deepen relations and have adopted a joint declaration to that effect. The visit was also a sign of solidarity with Bangladesh, which has been seriously affected by the crisis in neighbouring Myanmar.


New director of Directorate for European Affairs and other appointments

31.01.2018 — Media release EDA
Personnel changes will take place in 2018 at several Swiss representations abroad and at the head office of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in Bern, within the framework of the usual transfer rotation based on appointments made by the Federal Council. The appointment of heads of mission abroad becomes effective following approval by the respective host state.


Relations with the EU: The Federal Council examines new approaches to settling disputes

31.01.2018 — Media release EDA
At its meeting on 31 January 2018, the Federal Council conducted an in-depth discussion on Swiss European policy. In particular, it discussed the current situation, the medium and long-term objectives of Swiss policy on the European Union (EU), and the way to proceed. The Federal Council would like to further develop Switzerland’s political and economic relations with the EU and for this reason is examining new approaches to settling disputes within the framework of negotiations. It is also mindful to develop solutions that find domestic support. In addition, it has appointed Roberto Balzaretti, currently head of the Directorate of International Law of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), as head of the Directorate of European Affairs (DEA). He will take up his new duties on 1 February 2018. In this capacity he will coordinate all the different negotiations under way with the EU. To carry out this task, he has been given the title of state secretary.



Programme of members of the Federal Council attending the WEF Annual Meeting 2018

24.01.2018 — Article EDA
Bern, 24.01.2018 – The Federal Council continues to hold the view that the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is of great importance. Five Federal Council members will be attending the event this year; around 60 bilateral meetings are expected to take place. President Alain Berset will be holding meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. Arrangements for further meetings, such as with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are still under discussion, as are details of the meeting with President Trump.


Swiss IHRA chairmanship: education about the Holocaust is key to creating awareness about the consequences of racism

23.01.2018 — Media release EDA
Learning and teaching about the Holocaust in schools was the theme of the international study days, held at Lausanne University of Teacher Education. The two-day conference, which the university organised as part of Switzerland’s chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), focused on practical examples and reports of experience from the classroom. The IHRA works to promote research and education about the Holocaust and to keep alive the memory of the victims through commemorations and memorials.

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