President Sommaruga at the virtual 75th session of the UN General Assembly

Bern, 24.09.2020 - On 23 September, during the ministerial week of the United Nations General Assembly, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, outlined Switzerland’s priorities. This year’s event, which marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, is taking place via video link, owing to the ongoing pandemic.

“There are moments that leave their mark for generations,” Ms Sommaruga said in her speech to the UN General Assembly. One such moment was the foundation of the UN, 75 years ago. “And we are experiencing another such moment now,” she said, referring to geopolitical tensions and internal political polarisation in some countries.

The Swiss president said that the world needs the UN and its commitment to peace and security more than ever before. Whoever calls for a strong UN must also help it achieve its goals, for “the UN’s goals are our goals”. Ms Sommaruga underlined the role of Geneva in promoting peace and in the field of international security. She also reminded the audience that Geneva is the headquarters of the World Health Organization WHO, which is playing a major role in managing the global coronavirus crisis.  

At key moments the world needs courage and determination. And it must look to the future. “If every crisis is a suffering, it is also a moment of change that allows us to reinvent ourselves.”

Ms Sommaruga’s further agenda at the virtual meeting includes a video conference on Wednesday on cooperation in the field of digitalisation. A week later she will speak at a summit on biodiversity, and again on Thursday, 1 October at the event marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration on gender equality.   


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