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International cooperation: Switzerland calls for zero tolerance and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse

19.10.2018 — Press release EDA
A power imbalance can exist between people in need and people providing international aid, increasing the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse. This must not be tolerated and needs to be rigorously combated in the international cooperation sector. This statement was made unequivocally by Switzerland, along with 21 other OECD countries, at the Putting People First summit in London. In a joint declaration, they also defined various measures for prevention, accountability and the protection of victims and groups at risk.

Federal Council approves the UN Global Compact for Migration

10.10.2018 — Press release EDA
At its meeting on 10 October, the Federal Council decided to approve the United Nations Global Compact for Migration with a clarification. Following a first discussion on 14 September, the Federal Council instructed the Interdepartmental Structure for International Cooperation on Migration to pursue the analysis of the domestic and foreign policy impact of the compact. This analysis has shown that the Global Compact for Migration corresponds with Switzerland’s interests in migration. The Federal Council notes that Switzerland is already implementing the recommendations of the Global Compact for Migration in the various policy areas mentioned and that in the case of some actions an explanation is necessary in order to clarify the political scope. The Global Compact for Migration does not cover refugees, who are protected by the Geneva Refugee Convention.

Earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia: Switzerland sends team of humanitarian experts to Sulawesi

01.10.2018 — Press release EDA
Following the earthquake and tsunami that destroyed large parts of the region surrounding the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi on 28 September 2018, on Monday evening a Swiss Humanitarian Aid advance team was dispatched to Indonesia to determine the most urgent needs. Swiss Humanitarian Aid, which is part of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, had offered its assistance to the Indonesian government on Saturday.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis at the UN General Assembly in New York

26.09.2018 — Press release EDA
The multilateral system protects countries which are not military powers, like Switzerland, said Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis on Wednesday at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs also drew a positive assessment of his first participation in the General Assembly: "This first visit gave me a better sense of how multilateralism works and its need for reform."

Switzerland sets priorities for 73rd United Nations General Assembly

14.09.2018 — Press release EDA
At its meeting on 14 September, the Federal Council set its priorities for the 73rd UN General Assembly. They focus on two key strategic areas: peace and security, and UN reform. Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will represent Switzerland at the high-level opening of the UN General Assembly.

Swiss school system provides impetus for effective development cooperation

12.09.2018 — Press release EDA
A solid school education is the basis for economic success and social cohesion, and thus is key to the development of a country. For that reason, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aims to capitalise to a greater extent on the strengths of the Swiss school system in its partner countries. A study commissioned by the SDC is currently examining the characteristics of compulsory education in Switzerland in terms of its added value for international cooperation. On this basis, the SDC intends to enter into new partnerships with Swiss school institutions, and with various cantons and communes. The aim is to strengthen the effectiveness of Switzerland's commitment to education through the promotion of 'Swissness' and the exchange of knowledge.

Ignazio Cassis holds political talks in Bulgaria and visits project to promote vocational training

11.09.2018 — Press release EDA
On an official visit to Sofia, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis met Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva. Their talks focused on the experiences of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council, the status of institutional negotiations between Switzerland and the EU, and bilateral issues. Mr Cassis also visited a vocational training project in Sofia which Switzerland is supporting through its contribution to EU enlargement.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis in Romania for talks on bilateral ties, linguistic minorities and Europe

10.09.2018 — Press release EDA
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis met today with Romanian Prime Minister Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă and Foreign Minister Teodor Meleșcanu in Bucharest during an official visit to the country. Talks centred on Romania's upcoming EU presidency, European policy, bilateral issues and Swiss-Romanian cooperation under the enlargement contribution. Prior to the talks, Mr Cassis met representatives of Romania's German-speaking minority in Sibiu/Hermannstadt.

Syria: FDFA calls for end to hostilities in Syrian province of Idlib

06.09.2018 — Press release EDA
The FDFA is deeply concerned about the increase in hostilities in and around the Syrian province of Idlib. It calls on the parties to the conflict to return to the negotiating table and on the states guaranteeing the "de-escalation zone" in Idlib province to do everything within their power to prevent a further escalation of hostilities.

Lake Chad region: Switzerland provides CHF 20 million for humanitarian aid, development and peacebuilding

03.09.2018 — Press release EDA
The Lake Chad region, located in the borders Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, has been seriously impacted by the armed conflict with the Boko Haram group. The local population is suffering from the violence, a disastrous humanitarian situation and inadequate infrastructure. Switzerland has committed CHF 20 million as part of a comprehensive approach involving humanitarian aid, development and peacebuilding. It announced this today in Berlin, where representatives of a number of states and international organisations are discussing the international response to the crisis.

Further steps to intensify relations between Switzerland and Lebanon

27.08.2018 — Press release EDA
Switzerland and Lebanon have reaffirmed the wish to further deepen their traditionally strong ties. On Monday in Beirut, President Alain Berset expressed Switzerland’s solidarity with Lebanon, which has been severely affected by the Syrian crisis. In talks with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri, Mr Berset discussed how cooperation on migration, humanitarian aid and on economic affairs could be improved.

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