The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) will take place from 14 to 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter will take part in the conference on 14 and 15 March. He will then travel to Indonesia and subsequently to Sri Lanka for political discussions.
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter to take part in UN World Conference in Sendai
Saturday, 14.03.2015 Wednesday, 18.03.2015
Location: Sendai, Jakarta, Colombo, Jaffna
Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter will take part in the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) on 14 and 15 March in Sendai, Japan. He will head the Swiss delegation during the ministerial segment of the conference.
Opening remarks by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter at the high-level panel event "Making the Case for Risk - Informed Investment" on the occasion of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Sendai, Japan. 15.3.2015
Negotiations will then be continued by the Swiss delegation, which will include Manuel Bessler, the Federal Council Delegate for Humanitarian Aid, Josef Hess, Vice-Director of the Federal Office for the Environment, and Benno Bühlmann, Director of the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection. The aim of the conference is to adopt a new Framework for Action establishing the strategic goals and priority areas for disaster-risk reduction in the coming years.
On 14 March, Mr Burkhalter will meet the Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.
Political discussions in Indonesia and Sri Lanka
On 16 March 2015, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter is meeting for political talks with the Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in the capital Jakarta. The talks will focus on possibilities for closer bilateral relations, particularly in trade and business, as well as on security issues. The Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs will also address the recent resumption of executions in Indonesia.
Mr Burkhalter is also set to meet with the deputy Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Dr A. K. P. Mochtan.
On 17 March 2015, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter met representatives of the new Sri Lankan government in Colombo. In his talks with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who took office in January 2015, the focus was on strengthening bilateral relations between Switzerland and Sri Lanka.
On 18 March 2015, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter visits the Akkarai project village in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka. Switzerland supported its reconstruction following the civil war, as part of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's (SDC) humanitarian reconstruction programme. In total, Switzerland is helping some 5,000 families to build houses, 20% of them are households headed by women. Thirty-five of the supported families live in the Akkarai project village.