Press releases, 12.04.2024

The third International Cooperation Forum (IC Forum) concluded today in Basel. Over 1,000 representatives from politics, business, science, and civil society gathered alongside President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd, FDFA head Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, and Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde to discuss the theme of peace promotion. Discussions centred on three core values: critical dialogue, trust, and innovation, all aimed at finding new pathways for tangible and sustainable progress. A highlight of the 2024 forum was the Swiss IC Awards, recognising innovative peace-building projects by Swiss companies.

Armed conflicts, food crises, migration, and natural disasters pose significant challenges to achieving peace and demand a well-coordinated, strategic response from the international community. In light of these contemporary challenges, the FDFA placed the theme of peace at the core of the 3rd IC Forum, which brought together around 1,000 international cooperation actors from more than 100 countries for two days in Basel. About 700 people also participated online.

“Peace is lasting when human rights are respected, when basic needs are satisfied and when education is guaranteed. Peace-building is an ongoing effort,” emphasised the President of Ethiopia and guest of honour at the forum, Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, in her opening speech. The thematic panels held during the IC Forum 2024 echoed this conclusion. The discussions, debates, and meetings fostered networking and laid the groundwork for new collaborative initiatives geared towards achieving concrete and sustainable progress. The discussions explored the three pillars of international cooperation: humanitarian aid, development cooperation and peace promotion. "There is no magic formula for establishing peace and guaranteeing human dignity. But Switzerland, with its long diplomatic tradition in peace promotion, has a role to play," stressed Cassis.

Swiss IC Award: innovation in international cooperation

Swiss companies, SMEs and start-ups that put new technologies to work for peace were honoured at the Swiss IC Awards. Of the ten projects selected by a panel of experts, AIDONIC, BREATH Medical and AGEOSPATIAL were presented with a Swiss IC Award by Mr Cassis.

AIDONIC aims to make humanitarian and development aid more effective using artificial intelligence, blockchain and other digital payment solutions. BREATH Medical aims to revolutionise medical education and training in low-resource areas through its digital training platform. Finally, AGEOSPATIAL uses artificial intelligence to make the analysis of geographical data accessible on a large scale. The three winning projects will have the opportunity to test their solutions in a developing country with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the FDFA.

At the IC Forum in Basel, young people from Switzerland's three language regions also presented the first Basel Manifesto for Future Peace, showcasing their ideas and commitment to contributing to world peace.

Switzerland's role in peace promotion

Beyond the IC Forum, Switzerland actively promotes peace through various initiatives.
As part of its ongoing peace promotion efforts. Switzerland will host a high-level conference on peace in Ukraine, which is scheduled for June 2024 at the Bürgenstock resort, aiming to facilitate dialogue and identify pathways to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.

A fourth edition in 2025

The sustainable economy will be the central theme of IC Forum 2025, which will be jointly organised by the SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The fourth edition of the IC Forum will be held on 27 and 28 February 2025 at ETH Zurich.

Further information:

Peace at the heart of the IC Forum

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 19.07.2023

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