Swiss President Maurer and Federal Councillor Cassis represent Switzerland at the UN GA.
74th UN General Assembly
Monday, 23.09.2019 Friday, 27.09.2019
On 24 September, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer, addresses the General Debate at the opening of the 74th UN General Assembly (UN GA) in New York, where he presents Swiss foreign policy priorities in the context of the UN for the coming year.
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis represents Switzerland during the ministerial (high-level) week in New York at various events on current topics. He also holds bilateral discussions.
This year’s priorities – human rights, UN reforms and science diplomacy – are in line with Switzerland’s two key strategic areas for its commitment to the UN for the period 2012-22: peace and security, and UN reform.
24 September 2019 – Sustainable Development and climate change
At the World Economic Forum's Sustainable Development Impact summit, Mr Cassis underlined the vital role of innovation in achieving social, economic and environmental goals. "Innovative approaches are key to developing workable solutions to the challenges of the future, such as reducing CO2 emissions." Science and business have a leading role to play in this area.”
On 23 September the Swiss president presented Switzerland’s national climate goals at the UN Climate Action Summit. Switzerland also presented its PACTA initiative for climate-friendly investments at the pre-summit.
24 September 2019 – EU event on Syria
At the Syria event, the head of the FDFA called for innovative approaches to respond to the increase in violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism in Geneva, which since 2017 has been gathering evidence on violations in Syria, is an excellent example of how the scientific and diplomatic communities can work together to create synergies and strengthen human rights.
24 and 25 September 2019 – Bilateral meetings on the margins of the UN General Assembly
The presence of many members of foreign governments offers Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis the opportunity to establish new contacts and strengthen existing bilateral relations.
In addition to participating in a variety of events being held in connection with the 74th session of the UN General assembly, the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is also using his stay in New York to hold bilateral talks with representatives of UN member states and a range of organisations. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis met various foreign ministers in New York, including his Austrian, Eritrean, Omani and Ukrainian counterparts.
24 September 2019 – President Maurer calls on international community to follow global "compasses"
During the United Nations (UN) ministerial week, President Ueli Maurer described the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions as "compasses of values" that are ever increasing in importance in a time of great uncertainty. The digital transformation and, in particular, data protection as part of human rights were also a focal point of his speech to the UN General Assembly.
The President of the Swiss Confederation spoke at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, 24 September 2019. He underlined the importance of the UN Charter and stressed that the international community also has the responsibility to protect the rights of smaller countries. He called the Geneva Conventions, which were adopted 70 years ago, a "compass of value" for fundamental human rights.
He also called for technical progress not to be hindered: "If we are to succeed in stabilising supplies of food, water and energy, if we are to tackle climate change effectively, we need to do more than just pay lip service to these aims – we need technical innovation." "We want the new digital society to commit to, abide by, and implement a common set of basic ethical values," said the President of the Swiss Confederation, referring to the corresponding objectives of the "Swiss Digital Initiative", which was founded three weeks ago in Geneva in the presence of global corporations, the UN and the ICRC. Switzerland is prepared to make its contribution to the world community and with Geneva offers the UN an important platform for promoting exchange.
23.09.2019 – Climate change on the agenda at the UN General Assembly
Global warming, tension between China and the United States, the impact of the Israeli elections on the Middle East question and attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia – there is no shortage of pressing issues this year at the traditional opening of a new session of the United Nations. These and many other problems will be discussed at great length at the UN in New York during this coming week of 22 September.