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Switzerland and ICRC sign protocol amending headquarters agreement

27.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and ICRC President Peter Maurer have signed a protocol amending the agreement which has governed the ICRC's status in Switzerland since 1993. The ICRC is the federal government's main partner in the field of humanitarian aid and plays a key role in the protection of victims of armed conflict and implementation of the Geneva Conventions. The new provisions are designed to increase the ICRC's independence and capacity for action.


Violence in Ethiopia: The FDFA allocates CHF 2 million for humanitarian aid and calls on all parties to respect international humanitarian law

27.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Since early November, clashes in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia have forced thousands of people to flee their homes. The need for humanitarian aid has increased, which has spread to neighbouring countries, particularly Sudan. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has decided to support humanitarian operations in the region with CHF 2 million. It calls for strict compliance with international humanitarian law, rapid and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid, a desescalation of violence and a return to dialogue.


Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis travels to Middle East and United Arab Emirates

26.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will travel to Israel, the occupied Palestinian territory and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 28 November to 1 December 2020. His official talks with government representatives will focus on the priorities of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Strategy 2021–24, in particular facilitating dialogue in the region and cooperation on innovation, digitalisation and sustainability.


Federal Council adopts anti-corruption strategy

25.11.2020 — Press release EDA
At its meeting on 25 November 2020, the Federal Council approved its first anti-corruption strategy for the 2021–2024 period. Although the strategy is mainly directed at the Federal Administration, it is also intended to have a wider reach.


Parliament Building to be lit orange as protest against violence against women

24.11.2020 — Press release EDA
On 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Parliament Building will be lit up in orange, the colour chosen to symbolise the day. Combating violence against women is a priority for Switzerland, both at national and international level. A further aim of this initiative is to highlight the authorities’ practice of zero tolerance towards violence against women, particularly during the pandemic.


Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis opens Afghanistan Conference in Geneva

24.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis welcomed the international community to the Afghanistan Conference in Geneva on 24 November. Most of the major donor countries took part virtually in the pledging conference, which sets the development priorities and financial support for Afghanistan every four years. Switzerland has pledged CHF 104 million for the upcoming period. The donors' conference comes at a critical juncture with the Afghan government and Taliban having started peace talks in September. In his capacity as head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Mr Cassis also held bilateral talks with his Afghan and Finnish counterparts on the margins of the conference.


Hurricane Iota in Central America: another demonstration of solidarity by Switzerland

23.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Central America, already ravaged by Hurricane Eta, has again been hit by an extreme weather event. The latest, Hurricane Iota, has already wreaked havoc in several countries across the region. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is responding to the emergency by sending specialists and released CHF 2 million to help the survivors.


Switzerland funds reconstruction of houses in Albania: Federal Councillor Cassis gets an update on the status of the projects

23.11.2020 — Press release EDA
During his official visit to Tirana on 23 November 2020, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis met the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj and President Ilir Meta. The talks focused on Switzerland's commitment in Albania, Albania's chairmanship of the OSCE and the candidacy of both countries for the UN Security Council. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) also visited an SDC project to restore destroyed houses.


50 years of diplomatic relations: Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis travels to Albania

20.11.2020 — Press release EDA
On 23 November 2020, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will be in Tirana for an official visit to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Albania. The meeting with Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama and the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj will focus on bilateral relations, Switzerland's international cooperation in the region and Albania's current chairmanship of the OSCE.


Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis receives Spanish Foreign Minister in Bern

20.11.2020 — Press release EDA
On 20 November 2020, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, met with Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya. The talks focused on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, relations with the European Union and bilateral relations between Switzerland and Spain. The Spanish minister's visit was also an opportunity to discuss multilateral commitments and International Geneva.


Poverty reduction and sustainable development: Switzerland renews its support to the UNDP

18.11.2020 — Press release EDA
Despite progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, some 600 million people worldwide live in extreme poverty. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this number is rising sharply for the first time in decades. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) plays a key role in poverty reduction. The Federal Council has therefore decided on 18 November to allocate a contribution of 52.7 million francs to the UNDP.


Switzerland to continue support for UNRWA in 2021–2022

18.11.2020 — Press release EDA
At its meeting of 18 November 2020, the Federal Council decided to continue to provide the same level of support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for the next two years. Switzerland intends to continue to support and closely monitor the management reforms initiated by UNRWA. Switzerland's 40 million francs contribution will help to alleviate the precarious humanitarian situation, create prospects, reduce the risk of young people becoming radicalised, and strengthen stability in the region.

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