Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), also attended the event. The WNF is part of the UNESCO Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site. The exhibition is dedicated to the impact of climate change on the Alpine area and economic developments particularly in the fields of agriculture and tourism.
President Leuthard recalled that the Alpine area, and indeed Switzerland as a whole, is heavily affected by climate change: “Climate change is a slow process, whose effects are not immediately noticeable. This is why we need to observe, monitor, conduct scientific analyses and pursue climate protection policies with great determination.”
She explained Switzerland’s next steps in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. Parliament must approve the agreement’s ratification. The National Council has already approved the bill which will come before the Council of States in the summer session.
The invitation, which the President of the Swiss Confederation extends on behalf of the Federal Council to all ambassadors accredited in Switzerland, is a permanent fixture in the diplomatic calendar.
In even years the excursion takes the ambassadors to a particular region of the country, and in odd years to a cultural event. The invitation is intended to foster contacts at the highest level with the accredited representatives of foreign states in Switzerland. The ambassadors were greeted at the WNF by representatives from the Canton of Valais and the Commune of Naters.
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