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Yemen: Switzerland reaffirms its commitment and appeals to warring parties

23.12.2016 — Press release EDA
In view of the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Switzerland is reaffirming its commitment to help the destitute civilian population by making an additional CHF 3 million available to the Yemen Humanitarian Pooled Fund managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) over the next 12 months. The money will be used to fund water, hygiene and nutrition projects.

Switzerland supports the UN resolution on combating impunity in Syria

22.12.2016 — Press release EDA
The UN General Assembly in New York has decided to set up an independent investigative mechanism, designed to lay the basis for future legal proceedings against those responsible for the most serious breaches of international law in Syria. Right from the outset, Switzerland supported the resolution sponsored by Liechtenstein and welcomes this significant step to combat impunity in Syria.

Switzerland to maintain assistance for Palestinian refugees in 2017-2020 period

21.12.2016 — Press release EDA
The Federal Council decided at its meeting of 21 December 2016 to maintain its contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) over the coming four year period. The funding provided by Switzerland is primarily intended to help improve the access of the affected population to education, healthcare and social services. In this way Switzerland helps to improve prospects for the future, to reduce the risk of radicalisation among young Palestinians, and to support greater stability in the region. The funds also provide UNRWA with greater security in its budget planning.

Reducing hunger in the world – Swiss international cooperation supports agricultural research

21.12.2016 — Press release EDA
At its meeting on 21 December 2016, the Federal Council approved the continuation of Switzerland’s financial contribution to the Global Agricultural Research Partnership (CGIAR) for the period 2017 to 2019. The partnership provides targeted and efficient solutions to the challenges of hunger and malnutrition, and, by supporting it, Switzerland is contributing to the fight against hunger, one of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Gotthard tunnel and migration policy dominated media coverage of Switzerland in 2016

20.12.2016 — EDA
The opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which was attended by all the heads of state of Switzerland’s neighbouring countries, drew considerable media attention abroad. International media coverage of Switzerland focused on topics that also attracted attention in other European countries: migration and Islam. Two popular votes also drew international media coverage about Switzerland: The ‘Implementation initiative’ and the ‘unconditional basic income initiative’. In 2016, a year marked by great international upheaval, Switzerland’s economic and political stability were presented in a positive light by the foreign press.

Switzerland ratifies Croatia protocol

16.12.2016 — EDA
Switzerland has ratified the protocol extending the free movement of persons to Croatia. On 17 June this year, the Federal Assembly authorised the Federal Council to ratify Protocol III extending the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) to Croatia, subject to a specific condition. After Parliament passed the act implementing Article 121a of the Federal Constitution, the Federal Council concluded that this condition had been fulfilled. At its meeting on 16 December 2016, it therefore authorised the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), in cooperation with the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), to confirm the ratification of Protocol III to the EU. This also means the precondition has been met for Switzerland to participate fully in the Horizon 2020 research programme.

Switzerland calls for a redoubling of efforts to aid the victims of the humanitarian crisis in Syria

14.12.2016 — EDA
Switzerland has issued another humanitarian appeal to tackle the Syrian crisis. The FDFA calls on all parties to the Syrian conflict to fulfil their obligations with respect to human rights and international humanitarian law and to protect the civilian population caught up in the fighting. Immediate and unhampered access for humanitarian relief to the civilian population in all besieged and difficult-to-access areas is also imperative. The situation in Aleppo is catastrophic and particularly worrying in light of allegations of extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances.

Official visit to Bern and Neuchâtel by the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs

12.12.2016 — Press release EDA
Today, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter had a meeting in Neuchâtel with Chinese Foreign Minister WANG Yi as part of the latter's official visit to Switzerland. The two men discussed bilateral relations and various current international issues. China's leading diplomat also paid a courtesy visit to the President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, in Bern.

The Directorate of International Law briefs the public on the blocking and restitution of stolen assets

Bern Rathaus, Participants, Annual one-day event held by the Directorate of International Law on asset recovery

12.12.2016 — EDA
On 12 December 2016, the Directorate of International Law held its annual one-day event for the public at the Bern Rathaus. This year’s topic was the “Restitution of stolen assets”, and the discussion addressed both the process for recovering illicitly acquired assets and Swiss and international experience in this area. The guest speakers included political and legal experts, development professionals and representatives of the banking sector and civil society. They provided attendees with a step-by-step review of the process, from blocking assets to their restitution.

Video on Switzerland's human rights strategy

A woman sits with a group of children on steps in front of a house.

09.12.2016 — Artículo EDA

A short film on the FDFA Human Rights Strategy 2016–19 is now available, providing a 10-minute long overview of Switzerland's efforts to promote respect for human rights.

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