UN General Assembly and Climate Summit: Switzerland advocates for more security, UN reforms and climate protection

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, will present the key areas of Switzerland's foreign policy in the framework of the UN at the opening of the general debate of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York (24-26 September). He will also be present at the three events co-organised by Switzerland, participate in other events on current topics and hold bilateral talks. A climate summit, at which Switzerland will be represented by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, will take place on 23 September prior to the opening of the general debate. In keeping with tradition, the 69th session of the UN General Assembly will begin with what is known as a high-level week in New York attended by numerous heads of state and government as well as ministers of the UN member states. An important component of this ministerial week is the opening of the general debate of the General Assembly on 24 September 2014.

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, will represent Switzerland and address current global political issues and the key areas of Switzerland's foreign policy in the framework of the UN. Switzerland is organising three events as part of the ministerial week. Firstly, President Burkhalter will lead a discussion on the OSCE's capacity to act and the European security architecture in his capacity as Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Together with Peru, Tajikistan and Thailand and in the context of the post-2015 agenda, Switzerland is also organising an event on the importance of water and disaster risk reduction for sustainable development. Lastly, Switzerland is supporting an UNAIDS event which will discuss measures to eradicate AIDS by 2030 and the connection between this and the new post-2015 sustainable development agenda. President Burkhalter will also take part in other events during the week addressing such issues as abolishing the death penalty, combating terrorism, restricting the veto practice of the Security Council members and mediation. In addition, he will take the opportunity of the presence of numerous heads of state and government to hold bilateral talks. On President Burkhalter's invitation, Damian Vogt will also take part during the ministerial week as part of the Youth Rep (Youth Representatives) project. This young Swiss man will represent Switzerland's youth at the various UN events.

Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard at the climate summit

On the invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a climate summit will take place in New York on 23 September. The summit is intended to generate the momentum for a new international agreement on climate protection to be concluded by December 2015. At the summit, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), will set out Switzerland's position for a future international climate regime and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Switzerland is working at the international level for a binding agreement that obliges all states to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The goal of the meeting in New York is to mobilise all states to commit to climate protection and to demonstrate how developing and emerging countries can reduce CO2 emissions with technological and financial support and without damaging economic growth. To this end, key players in the private sector will also participate at the climate summit. The head of the DETEC will also carry out bilateral talks on the margins of the event.

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