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The Human Rights Council: “human rights are a joint response to a harsher, more uncertain world”

27.02.2017 — Media release EDA
"In a world which is turning in on itself, we perceive less of a desire for joint action and more of a calling into question of the international framework for human rights," said Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter on Monday in Geneva at the opening of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). "And yet, human rights are precisely the strong response we need to the questions facing us in this harsher, more uncertain world," he said. Switzerland proposed three priorities to guide joint dialogue and action in favour of human rights: conflict prevention, a strengthening of collective capacities and the genuine implementation of the rights of every human being.



Famine in Africa: Switzerland pledges CHF 15 million to support emergency relief

24.02.2017 — Media release EDA
Switzerland has pledged to take direct action to help populations facing starvation, especially in South Sudan. The decision follows a call issued by the United Nations Secretary-General on 22 February 2017. Swiss Humanitarian Aid, a department of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), is to release CHF 15 million from its fund for humanitarian emergencies for countries hit by famine in the beginning of this year.


A safe haven for children in Niger escaping the atrocities of Boko Haram

20.02.2017 — Article DEZA

Thousands of civilians are forced to flee attacks of Boko Haram and military operations in the Lake Chad region. Niger is one of the countries of the Lake Chad Basin that hosts a large number of displaced people. Among them are traumatised children. The SDC’s Humanitarian Aid Department supports a project of the Italian NGO COOPI providing psychosocial support and a safe environment for those young survivors.    



Afghanistan – FDFA condemns killing of six ICRC staff

08.02.2017 — Media release EDA
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) condemns the attack carried out in Afghanistan which cost the lives of six employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The FDFA extends its condolences to the families of the victims and the ICRC. “It is with a heavy heart that I learned of these tragic deaths. I convey to the families of the victims my deepest sympathy,” said Didier Burkhalter, head of the FDFA, in a message to ICRC President Peter Maurer.


Annual press conference: measuring the effectiveness of SDC projects

27.01.2017 — Media release EDA
During its autumn session, Parliament adopted the Dispatch on International Cooperation 2017-2020. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is currently implementing the objectives set out by the dispatch for the first year. What are the new areas of focus? At the SDC’s annual press conference, SDC director general Manuel Sager explained the five strategic priorities, additional mandates set by Parliament and the core objectives of the SDC’s various departments in the current year. In the second part of the press conference, SDC specialists addressed the issue of measuring effectiveness, which is of central importance for development cooperation.


Switzerland and Argentina reaffirm commitment to mutual cooperation and launch bilateral dialogue on corruption

23.01.2017 — Media release EDA
Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs Susana Malcorra was received this Monday, 23 January, in Bern by the head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter. Following up on the numerous bilateral contacts between Switzerland and Argentina that marked the year 2016, the present visit serves to officialise the commitment of the two countries to further intensify their mutual exchanges in a number of areas, including development cooperation, research, trade and human rights. The two ministers decided to set up a bilateral dialogue on fighting corruption. Argentina, which will chair the G20 in 2018, is particularly engaged in this field.


2017 – International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

18.01.2017 — Article DEZA

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2017 the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development”. The aim is to make decision-makers and the general public aware of the contribution that sustainable tourism can make to development. The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) coordinates a wide range of global initiatives. For its part, the SDC supports several promising projects in Eastern Europe.




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