The agenda of the President of the Confederation at a glance
The New Year greetings ceremony with the diplomatic corps, the 1 August message to the nation. But also the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano. The main appointments of the President of the Confederation and Head of the FDFA, Ignazio Cassis, are summarised in short news and pictures.
At the Ukraine Recovery Conference on 5 July in Lugano, Switzerland and Ukraine presented the "Lugano Declaration" with the support of international partners. © KEYSTONE/FDFA/Alessandro della Valle
03.08.2022 – Ignazio Cassis at the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York
President of the Confederation Ignazio Cassis took part on 2 August 2022 in the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York. In his speech, Mr Cassis emphasised that Russia's nuclear threats illustrated the need for a package of measures to reduce nuclear risks. Recent developments in Ukraine have also shown that civilian nuclear facilities must be protected in situations of armed conflict. Switzerland thus wants to ensure nuclear safety and security and give new impetus to nuclear disarmament.
Mr Cassis called on the Conference to send a signal that nuclear weapons must never be used again: “This conference must set the course for an urgently needed change: to reduce the role of nuclear weapons, to reduce the likelihood of a nuclear accident or usage as a result of a misunderstanding. Words must be complemented by concrete action to avert humanitarian and environmental disasters.”
29.07.2022 – Le 1er août du président de la Confédération Ignazio Cassis : Sur les rails de la diversité suisse
Pour célébrer la fête nationale, le lundi 1er août 2022, le président de la Confédération Ignazio Cassis entamera un voyage en train, ponctué de plusieurs arrêts à la rencontre de la population sur des lieux symboliques de l’histoire suisse. Il sera accompagné par une délégation de jeunes italophones qui seront ensuite rejoints par des jeunes Vaudois.
Cette journée de voyage débutera à Lugano (TI) et se terminera sous les feux d’artifices au bord du lac Léman. En chemin, Ignazio Cassis s’arrêtera à Knonau (ZH) pour partager un brunch populaire à la ferme, avant de rejoindre Grenchen (SO) et ses habitants. Tant Knonau, à proximité des terres qui ont vu les guerres de Kappel et la bataille du Sonderbund, que Grenchen, théâtre de luttes sociales, sont des symboles de cette capacité typiquement suisse de se réconcilier après des conflits parfois fratricides.
Toujours en train, le Président de la Confédération rejoindra la Suisse romande en fin de journée, destination Lausanne avec escale à Yverdon-les-Bains. Après son arrivée dans le nouveau quartier des Arts, sur l’esplanade de Plateforme 10, Ignazio Cassis rejoindra le quartier d’Ouchy pour assister au traditionnel feu d’artifice organisé par la Ville de Lausanne.
05.07.2022 – Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2022)
At the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2022), which took place on 4 and 5 July in Lugano, Switzerland and Ukraine – represented by President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal – drew up the 'Lugano Declaration' together with 58 delegations of states and international organisations.
09.06.2022 – Switzerland's election to the UN Security Council
On 9 June 2022, the UN General Assembly elected Switzerland as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a two-year period from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2024. During its term, Switzerland will use its strengths to promote peace and security and position itself as a neutral bridge-builder, and promote its interests through direct contact with the major players on the international stage.
Switzerland will be able to use its seat on the Security Council to promote its stance more strongly and thus exert influence on international developments as a credible partner. "We are delighted with this election. We approach this task with respect, and are ready to engage constructively and assume responsibility as a member of the Security Council", said President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis, who was present at the election.
08.06.2022 – Meeting in Washington
The President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis met the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, in Washington. The talks focused on the situation in Ukraine.
23.05.2022 – President Cassis opens World Economic Forum in Davos
In connection with the war in Ukraine, Switzerland has shown itself to be cooperative as a neutral country. President Cassis underscored this in his opening remarks at the World Economic Forum. As a neutral country, Switzerland is committed to
- strengthening its own and shared fundamental values,
- securing its own and joint peace efforts,
- and a rules-based, stable security architecture that can only be achieved multilaterally.
Russia's military aggression against Ukraine is a serious violation of basic norms of international law, and Switzerland has thus adopted the EU's sanctions against Russia.
Even if the end of the war is not yet in sight, our focus should be on the path to reconstruction and settling the economic consequences of the war, said the head of the FDFA. The Ukraine Recovery Conference will take place in Lugano at the beginning of July. "This conference should be the starting signal for the reconstruction of Ukraine," said Cassis.
In his speech, he also emphasised the need for focused multilateralism. A targeted strengthening of multilateralism and a return to core tasks is the right way to tackle issues that have a global impact and cannot be solved in isolation. These include issues such as the climate emergency and extreme poverty, as well as global economic crises, energy supply and mass migration.
Speeches by President Cassis at the World Economic Forum:
20.05.2022 – President Cassis receives Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta
President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Bern on Friday, 20 May 2022. Their talks focused on enhancing bilateral relations, the upcoming elections in Kenya, and matters related to the UN Security Council.
19.05.2022 – First state visit of the Slovak Republic to Switzerland
On Thursday, 19 May 2022, the Swiss government, led by President Ignazio Cassis, received the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová in Bern. It was the first time that a Slovak head of state was received in Switzerland – with the highest protocol honours. The visit underlined the excellent relations that have existed between the two countries since 1993, the year of the Slovak Republic's independence. Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter, Head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), and Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok also took part in the official talks. The focus of the talks was on bilateral relations, the European policy of both countries, the situation in the Western Balkans, the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its consequences for the security architecture in Europe. Finally, climate and environmental issues were also on the agenda. The state visit continued in Zurich on Friday, 20 May.
06.05.2022 – Swiss president meets with Pope and Swiss Guard
In Rome for the swearing-in of the new Swiss Guard, President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis met today with Pope Francis and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican's secretary for relations with states. The talks focused on the historic bilateral relations between the two states, which have recently been further strengthened by the Federal Council's decision to establish a new Swiss embassy to the Holy See.
International issues, such as the war in Ukraine and Europe's security architecture, were also raised during the discussions. Last November, on the occasion of Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin's visit to Switzerland, the two states signed a declaration with the aim of strengthening their joint commitment and cooperation in the bilateral and multilateral spheres to promote peace and human rights in the world. A commitment reaffirmed today by the two states "which share the values of dialogue and peace," said Cassis.
On the margins of his visit to the Vatican, Mr Cassis also presented the premises that will house the Swiss embassy to the Holy See and officially launched the work.
05.05.2022 – Two meetings in St Gallen
The President of the Confederation Ignazio Cassis participated in the annual St Gallen Symposium. His speech, which is available on this page, dealt with current events in Ukraine and Switzerland's policy of neutrality.
Ignazio Cassis also participated in the pilot meeting of the Lake Constance intergovernmental commission. Già nel mese di gennaio, the German, Austrian, Liechtenstein and Swiss representatives of the cantons and federal states that are a part of the International Lake Constance Conference (IBK) met on Mount Säntis where they stressed the need to create an intergovernmental commission to strengthen the dialogue between the Conference and national governments. The FDFA supported the initiative and was involved in organising the pilot project, in close cooperation with the foreign ministries of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.
05.05.2022 – Without peace it is impossible to secure human rights
5 May is Europe Day – in memory of the founding of the Council of Europe on 5 May 1949, when Europe laid ruins. Since then, the Council of Europe has promoted human rights, the rule of law and democracy. In the face of war, these values are of particular importance, writes President Ignazio Cassis in his message for this year's Europe Day.
29.04.202 – Zurich – Lugano – Milano: a sustainable innovation journey
President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis launched 29. April 2022 the first Innovation Day with a multi-stage programme.
Pursuing the axis of Zurich, Ticino and Milan, he visited Innovation Park in Dübendorf and Tecnopolo Ticino in Manno. At the end of the trip, the president was received at House of Switzerland Milano for its inauguration. The evening at the House also included a panel discussion on the future of innovation. The panel was co-organised with Milano Innovation District (MIND), Lombardy's new innovation park, which is located on the former site of Expo 2015 in Milan.
In Milan the President of the Swiss Confederation had an exchange with Italy's foreign minister, Luigi di Maio, and minister for technological innovation, Vittorio Colao. With Italian foreign minister the talks focused on global affairs, in particular the war in Ukraine. With innovation minister he discussed the two countries' strategies for digital transformation and the implications for global governance.
28.04.2022 – Switzerland and the UK deepen partnership
On Thursday, 28 April, President Ignazio Cassis met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss in London. Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed a joint declaration on the further development of their bilateral partnership and agreed to deepen cooperation in the field of science. They confirmed the launch of exploratory talks to modernise the existing trade agreement. Key topics of discussion included Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and its consequences, as well as Switzerland's and the UK's relations with the European Union.
22.04.2022 – Economy and science at the centre of the Presidential trip to Japan
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, visited Japan from 18 to 22 April, accompanied by an economic and scientific delegation. His trip took place in three stages. First he went to Tokyo, then to Osaka and finally to Kyoto.
In Tokyo, the President of the Confederation met with the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi. While the discussions focused on Ukraine and the resulting challenges for security policy in Europe and Asia, the talks also addressed the role of Switzerland and Japan in international organisations and cooperation in the fields of trade and science. President Ignazio Cassis and his interlocutors praised the good bilateral relations between the two countries, based on shared values.
After participating in an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, the President of the Confederation visited Osaka. The Swiss delegation attended the launch of the construction of the new Swiss Consulate. The consulate will also serve as an additional Swissnex location. The programme also included an exchange with the organisers of the Osaka 2025 World Expo, a visit to the Fugaku supercomputer and a meeting with the Swiss community in the Kansai metropolitan area.
President of the Confederation Ignazio Cassis concluded his presidential trip with a speech on the relationship between science and diplomacy, which he delivered to students at Kyoto University on 21 April. In his speech, Ignazio Cassis spoke about how science diplomacy can help meet the challenges of the 21st century.
11.04.2022 – President Cassis visits school in Agno
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, visited the Agno secondary school in the canton of Ticino, where he himself used to go to school. In the Aula Magna, he met about eighty fourth-graders who had recently visited the Federal Palace as part of the course on civil society and democracy. The pupils were able to ask Mr Cassis questions about the war in Ukraine, Swiss neutrality and his role as President of the Confederation and head of the FDFA. Ignazio Cassis encouraged the young people present to cultivate their curiosity and stick together across all differences, thinking especially of the new classmates from Ukraine who were welcomed to the school. «This is how we live the plurality that characterizes our country: by opening up to others, respecting them and asking them to respect us.»
11.04.2022 – Visit of Latvia’s President Egils Levits in Lugano
During their meeting in Lugano, President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis and his Latvian counterpart Egils Levits discussed bilateral relations between Switzerland and Latvia, the war in Ukraine and European policy. Highlighting the common values that unite the two parties, Ignazio Cassis assured Latvia of Switzerland's commitment to stability, security and prosperity in Europe.
Afterwards, the two presidents visited the Museo Rainis e Aspazija, which commemorates the time spent in exile by the Latvian intellectuals in Switzerland at the start of the 20th century.
07.04.2022 – President Ignazio Cassis receives Croatian President Zoran Milanović in Geneva
President Ignazio Cassis met with Croatian President Zoran Milanović in Geneva on Thursday, 7 April. In addition to bilateral relations, the talks focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the situation in the Western Balkans and Switzerland’s European policy. The visit included a meeting with students from the University of Geneva.
The Croatian president was received in Geneva. This is in line with the Swiss president’s aim to receive foreign guests in different parts of Switzerland during his tenure – as a way to show the world how diverse a country Switzerland is, while at the same time making foreign policy tangible throughout Switzerland.
04.04.2022 – Meeting with the Olympic and Paralympic Delegation in Bern
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, welcomed the athletes who represented Switzerland and stood on the podium at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing in February. He took this opportunity to express his thoughts on the difficult situation facing the Ukrainian population. The President stressed the strong bond that sport creates, creating unity beyond differences: "Sport contributes to our collective identity, especially in a country as diverse as ours, characterised by plurality”.
Sixteen medals were won by representatives from all the language regions. The President of the Swiss Confederation concluded his multilingual speech with a special thank-you to all sportsmen and sportswomen, not just those present in the hall: "Sport is work, ambition and a lot of humanity. This is exactly what we need, especially in these unusual times.
31.03.2022 – President Cassis opens the newly created "International Cooperation Forum”
President Ignazio Cassis has opened the International Cooperation Forum 2022 in Geneva. Over two days, around 1,600 people from many sectors will work together to find new solutions to the problems caused by climate change and challenges facing international cooperation. The hybrid forum was launched by the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and will take place annually.
'Together different' is the motto of the IC Forum 2022. From Thursday to Friday it will seek answers to the urgent questions facing international cooperation in view of climate change. The Forum will also address the current challenges posed by the Ukraine crisis and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Forum will encourage new forms of cooperation and make use of collective intelligence. Together, governments, international organisations, academia, business and civil society must meet these challenges in innovative ways – 'together different' is the way forward.
At the International Cooperation Forum 2022, awards were also given to young people who submitted innovative projects for sustainable development and poverty reduction as part of the youth competition "Together we're better".
13.03.2022 – Tribute to victims of the Sierre accident
Around 150 relatives and friends of the victims of the tragic coach accident in Sierre took part in a commemoration ceremony today alongside the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, and official representatives from Belgium, the Netherlands and the Canton of Valais.
The tragic accident, which occurred ten years ago, cost the lives of 28 people, including 22 Belgian and Dutch children.
On the margins of the commemoration ceremony, Mr Cassis and Belgian Prime Minister Mr De Croo also held a bilateral meeting.
09.03.2022 – Visit of Hungary’s President Áder in Neuhausen
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, received Hungarian President János Áder in Neuhausen in the canton of Schaffhausen for a working visit. The main topic of the exchange was the Russian military attack against Ukraine. Switzerland's European policy.
06.03.2022 – Illness Awareness Day: President Cassis calls for people to be able to decide how to live their own lives – for people who are sick as well as people in wars
In his speech marking Illness Awareness Day, Mr Cassis highlighted the importance of being able to decide how to live one's own life and with dignity. This means "drawing strength from our own resources – no matter how big or small they may be. This is what gives our lives meaning," he said, echoing the motto of this year's Illness Awareness Day 'Live Your Life'.
But the call to 'Live Your Life' is a constant challenge, because unforeseen events can turn our lives upside down from one day to the next – an accident, an illness or even war, which is why his thoughts were also with the people of Ukraine. He went on to stress the importance of standing by people and not letting them face such difficult situations alone.
Mr Cassis therefore urged us on this year's Illness Awareness Day to think of those people who are trying to live their best lives, despite the challenges facing them. "Let's help each other bring the motto 'Live Your Life' to life."
Illness Awareness Day takes place every year on the first Sunday in March with the goal of informing people about a particular topic on health and disease. It also aims to foster connections between sick and healthy people, to create understanding for sick people's needs, and to remind healthy people of their obligations towards the sick.
21.02.2022 – Second edition of the Emna rumantscha
The Swiss president, Ignazio Cassis has invited a group of secondary school pupils from Scuol and Savognin to Bern to inaugurate the second edition of the Romansh Language Week (Emna rumantscha) together with Jon Domenic Parolini, member of the Cantonal Council of Graubünden. The school delegation has arrived with a suitcase full of ideas for promoting the Romansh language and culture in Switzerland and for making them known abroad.
09.02.2022 – President of the Confederation Ignazio Cassis on official visit to Niger
Deepening bilateral relations, international cooperation and Switzerland's partnership with the ICRC: these were the key focus areas of Ignazio Cassis's visit to Niger from 7 to 9 February. In the most recent presidential elections in 2021, the country experienced its first democratic transfer of power since independence.
Mr Cassis acknowledged this development during his exchange with Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum and other members of the government. Speaking in Niamey, Cassis said "The stability and development of the Sahel region is also in Switzerland's interest." He went on to say that the Sahel is a priority region of Switzerland's Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24 and Switzerland is therefore expanding its relations with these countries, including Niger.
29.01.2022 – 150th anniversary of the internment of the Bourbaki army
Ignazio Cassis took part in the parade in Les Verrières in memory of the internment of the French army named after General Bourbaki 150 years ago. In 1871, Switzerland had taken in almost 90`000 French soldiers and officers who had been encircled by German troops in the French Jura. The French soldiers were welcomed by the Swiss population and received help after handing over weapons, ammunition and material at the border.
In his address, President Cassis recalled that the number of soldiers taken in had represented almost three per cent of the population in Switzerland at the time. "Life was hard for everyone back then. People struggled for food and to survive. But the people in that region - as well as the authorities - downgraded their needs to help others. A spirit of solidarity prevailed." The internment was also one of the first humanitarian actions for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), founded in 1863, President Cassis said.
He stressed that peace had reigned in Europe for 80 years. This goes back to the unification of Europe after the Second World War. "Today, when we deal with the vagaries of current politics, we must not forget the goal that stood at the beginning of the European Union: never again war on European soil!"
27.01.2022 - International Holocaust Remembrance Day
In his message on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis referred to his recent meeting in Ticino with Fishel Rabinowicz, one of the last Holocaust survivors living in Switzerland. Born in Poland in 1924, he was deported in 1941 and spent almost four years in a number of different labour and concentration camps. A few sequences of the meeting are shown in a video.
Ignazio Cassis meets Fishel Rabinowicz
21.01.2022 – President Cassis on the Albisgüetli
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, attended the 34th Albisgüetli Conference of the SVP Zurich in Zurich. In his speech, he spoke about the coronavirus pandemic and European policy. In doing so, he emphasised that the Federal Council still wants regulated and stable relations with the EU. "They are far too valuable for us to simply question them. Do not forget: we are also talking about a daily exchange of goods worth a billion francs."
21.01.2022 – President Cassis talks with foreign ministers of Russia and the USA about the security situation in Europe
On the occasion of the US-Russia meeting in Geneva, the President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the FDFA, Ignazio Cassis, met separately with the two Foreign Ministers, Antony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov, on Friday, 21 January 2022. The talks focused on security in Europe and the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Switzerland is concerned about the increasing tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border. President Cassis made clear that Switzerland offers its good offices when they are considered useful and are requested. In addition, the OSCE should play a central role as a platform for dialogue as well as with its confidence- and security-building measures.
21.01.2022 – COVID-19: President Cassis visits the Regional Hospital of Lugano
"This visit has allowed me to talk to the people on the front line of our fight against COVID-19. In addition, I was able to witness the situation at the hospital," said Ignazio Cassis during his reception at the Regional Hospital of Lugano. Accompanied by the Director of the Department of Health and Social Affairs of the Canton of Ticino, Raffaele De Rosa, and the cantonal doctor, Giorgio Merlani, Ignazio Cassis spoke with hospital management as well as with doctors and nurses.
20.01.2022 – Meeting in Berlin
President Ignazio Cassis met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in Berlin. The talks focused on the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, and on current challenges in Europe and worldwide.
20.01.2022 – Online event in the run-up to the Ukraine Reform Conference (URC2022)
At an online event on 20 January, in preparation for the fifth Ukraine Reform Conference (URC) to be held in Lugano this summer, President Ignazio Cassis and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy set out their expectations for the conference.
«As the host of the Ukraine Reform Conference, Switzerland can contribute to stability and prosperity in Europe. As a longstanding partner of Ukraine, I am pleased that we have an opportunity to support the country on its path to reform,» stated President Cassis. «The direct exchanges between the Ukrainian authorities and investors at this online event should provide an opportunity to discuss mutual expectations and common goals.»
Issues covered during the panel discussion included economic relations, economic policy reforms and Ukraine's statutory framework for investment. The international community intends to support these reforms.
14.01.2022 – 50th anniversary of International Lake Constance Conference
On Friday, 14 January, the German, Austrian, Liechtenstein and Swiss representatives of the cantons and federal states that are a part of the International Lake Constance Conference (IBK) met on Mount Säntis to celebrate the Conference's 50th anniversary. President Ignazio Cassis also attended the event. The aim of the IBK is to promote cross-border cooperation in the Lake Constance area and to strengthen relations between the four neighbouring countries and regions near the border.
President Cassis also took the opportunity to meet with Liechtenstein’s prime minister, Daniel Risch, on the fringes of the conference.
13.01.2022 – First traditional visit to Vienna
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, travelled to Vienna for his first official visit. There he was received by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Chancellor Karl Nehammer and the president of the Austrian National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka. The trip to Vienna marks a decades-old tradition of each new Swiss and Austrian president making their first trip abroad to each other’s country, a sign of the friendly relationship between Switzerland and Austria.
Following the bilateral meeting, Mr Cassis met the Polish foreign minister and new OSCE chair, Zbigniew Rau, as well as the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Helga Schmid. Mr Cassis presented the Swiss 2022–2025 OSCE Action Plan.
12.01.2022 – New Year's reception of the diplomatic corps
President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis welcomed the representatives of the diplomatic corps in Switzerland at the traditional New Year's reception at the Federal Palace.
Speeches, pictures and an interview with Ambassador Beatrice Schaer, who is responsible for the protocol, are available on the website dedicated to the event.
01.01.2022 – New Year's address
"The Federal Council is listening to all of you, regardless of the language in which you speak, no matter where you live. This plurality is Switzerland's strength!". With these words Ignazio Cassis addresses the nation on the eve of the New Year. In his speech, the President of the Swiss Confederation takes the people on a journey along the rails that run through Switzerland, reach all the language regions and unite the country.
31.12.2021 – New Federal Council photograph
Every year, a new photo with the seven federal councillors and the chancellor gets published. In 2022, the president of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, acts as art director.
Seven federal councillors, several cantons of origin, one Switzerland. "Like the members of the Federal Council, all Swiss citizen are diverse in term of origin, language, culture or mindset. Yet together we make up Switzerland", explains Ignazio Cassis, who illustrates this in a short video.
Behind the scenes
08.12.2021 – Election as President of the Swiss Confederation
The Federal Assembly elected Ignazio Cassis President of the Swiss Confederation for the year 2022 by 156 votes. Federal Councillor Alain Berset will accompany him as vice-president.