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Switzerland highlights the importance of the political and economic participation of rural women and their land rights

16.03.2018 — Media release EDA
On the margins of the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the Director of the Federal Office for Gender Equality, Sylvie Durrer, opened a panel discussion yesterday, organised by Switzerland together with South Africa, Egypt, New Zealand, the Philippines, Zambia, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Huairou Commission, on Participation of rural women in governance: Challenges and opportunities.

Inauguration of the Week of the French language and La Francophonie

15.03.2018 — Media release EDA
The next Week of the French Language and La Francophonie kicks off in Bern on 15 March. Celebrated all over the world to reflect and showcase the diversity of la Francophonie, it runs in Switzerland until 25 March and will feature numerous events on the theme of la Francophonie in North America, combining culture, celebration and conviviality. Events will be held in more than fifteen towns and cities around the country and in German-speaking Switzerland will focus on bringing together native French speakers and learners of the language.

Switzerland participates in the work of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

14.03.2018 — Media release EDA
Switzerland is playing an active role at the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which takes place in Vienna from 12 to 16 March. Switzerland was re-elected to the commission on 1 January 2018 for another four-year term. The CND is the UN's central body for drug policy.

Carles Puigdemont in Switzerland: FDFA reaffirms its position on Catalonia

14.03.2018 — Media release EDA
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has taken note of the visit of Spanish politician Carles Puigdemont to Switzerland. This is a private visit on the invitation of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH). Mr Puigdemont is scheduled to make several public appearances during his stay in Switzerland.

Swiss delegation attends session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

12.03.2018 — Media release EDA
The 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) begins today in New York. This year’s session will focus on achieving gender equality and the economic empowerment of women and girls in rural areas. Switzerland will be represented by a delegation led by FDFA Secretary General Markus Seiler and Director of the Federal Office for Gender Equality Sylvie Durrer.

Switzerland and Bhutan reaffirm their close ties

08.03.2018 — EDA
During a working visit to Bern on Thursday, 8 March, President Alain Berset and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay reaffirmed the continuing close ties between their two countries. Up until ten years ago, Bhutan was a Swiss development cooperation priority country, but at the end of 2016 the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) ended its activities in the country. The official talks focused on prospects and opportunities under this new chapter in bilateral relations.

Switzerland and Afghanistan sign agreement on development cooperation and humanitarian aid

06.03.2018 — EDA
On 6 March 2018, Swiss Ambassador Thomas Kolly and Afghanistan's Minister of Finance Eklil Hakimi signed a framework agreement in Kabul on technical and financial cooperation and humanitarian aid. This enhances the legal basis for cooperation between the two countries. Switzerland has been engaged in Afghanistan since the 1970s and has had a permanent presence there since 2002. Through the ongoing Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) programme, Switzerland supports Afghanistan's political and economic reform process and provides humanitarian aid.

Disseminating knowledge of the Holocaust: Switzerland passes chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance to Italy

06.03.2018 — EDA
Switzerland has chaired the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) for one year. Switzerland's chairmanship saw some major achievements at a strategic level, with the IHRA setting out its first comprehensive strategy and defining the priorities for its work in the years ahead. During its chairmanship Switzerland also supported various projects in the fields of education, youth and social media. The IHRA aims to promote research and education in relation to the Holocaust and to keep the memory of the victims alive through commemoration ceremonies and places of remembrance.

Relations with the EU: Federal Council takes stock and clarifies the negotiating mandate

05.03.2018 — Media release EDA
At its meeting on 2 March 2018, the Federal Council concluded the analysis it had started on 31 January and continued at its special meeting on 21 February. The object was to take stock of developments in Switzerland's relations with the European Union (EU) by reviewing the four years of negotiations on the institutional questions concerning EU market access. The Federal Council is seeking to improve these access conditions while respecting Swiss institutions and their independence. It thus set out its negotiating strategy and affirmed its commitment to proceed swiftly to ensure legal certainty for the export industry and for the stability of Switzerland's economy and our relations with the EU. The quality of the solutions put forward and the safeguarding of Swiss interests remain the criteria by which the Federal Council will determine the success of the negotiations.

Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities to visit Switzerland

05.03.2018 — Media release EDA
A delegation of experts from the Council of Europe will visit Switzerland from 5 to 8 March 2018 to receive information on implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The meetings and various visits in the country will focus in particular on the situation of groups within the Swiss population recognised under the Framework Convention as national minorities, namely the national linguistic minorities, the Yenish, Sinti and Manouche people, and the Jewish community.

Switzerland and Mozambique discuss peace and sign an international cooperation agreement

28.02.2018 — Media release EDA
The President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, paid an official visit to Switzerland on Wednesday, 28 February; it is the first visit by a Mozambican head of state and government since 2009. President Alain Berset received President Nyusi with military honours at the Lohn country residence. The official talks focused on Switzerland’s good offices in the peace process in Mozambique, development cooperation and bilateral economic relations.

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