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Switzerland supports the humanitarian efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross

21.03.2018 — Media release EDA
Switzerland supports the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in its work to alleviate need and suffering. The Federal Council pledged at its meeting on 21 March 2018 an annual contribution of CHF 80 million for the ICRC's headquarters in Geneva. Switzerland is thereby supporting one of the few organisations that has access to people in need during conflicts and crises. The ICRC coordinates its more than 80 delegations worldwide from its headquarters in Geneva.

Switzerland at the 2018 World Water Forum in Brasilia

20.03.2018 — Media release EDA
Water as a source of cooperation instead of conflict, access to clean drinking water, and involving the private sector in efforts for sustainable water resources management: these are Switzerland's priorities for the 2018 World Water Forum, which began on 18 March in the Brazilian capital. The World Water Forum is the largest gathering of its kind, bringing together representatives from politics, civil society, research and the private sector from around 120 countries. The theme of this year’s forum is sharing water. The Swiss delegation is being headed by Pio Wennubst, director of the Global Cooperation Department at the FDFA's Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Mr Wennubst has been accorded the title of state secretary for the duration of the conference in Brasilia.

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.

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.

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