Delegation of the Federal Council to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York

Bern, Press release, 18.09.2009

The general debate of the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations opens on 23 September 2009. It will last until 30 September 2009 and will be attended by Heads of State and Government, as well as by ministers from over 190 UN member states. The President of the Confederation, Hans-Rudolf Merz, and the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Micheline Calmy-Rey, will represent Switzerland at the general debate. On 22 September 2009, Moritz Leuenberger, Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), will participate in a high-level meeting convened by the UN Secretary General to discuss the issue of climate change.

This year, Switzerland will be represented by three members of the Federal Council at the high-level meeting of the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations. The meeting will address all important international issues such as peace and security, disarmament, combating poverty, climate change and human rights. In addition, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, will hold a high-level meeting devoted to the issue of climate change on 22 September 2009.   

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Hans-Rudolf Merz, will be in New York from 23 to 25 September 2009. His programme includes official events and talks with foreign counterparts. He will notably attend a reception hosted by US President Barack Obama. In addition, he will deliver the Swiss speech at the United Nations General Assembly on 24 September and deposit Switzerland’s instrument of ratification for the UN Convention against Corruption.  

Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey will arrive in New York on 22 September and is expected to stay for four days. She will attend the opening of the general debate and chair a ministerial working session to mark the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, at which the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Jakob Kellenberger, will participate. In addition, Mrs Calmy-Rey will meet several counterparts for bilateral talks. 

On 22 September, Federal Councillor Moritz Leuenberger will represent Switzerland at the high-level meeting on climate change. This meeting has been convened by the UN Secretary-General and aims to generate political support for the Climate Change Conference scheduled in Copenhagen in December 2009. Switzerland is actively involved in the conference preparations and is committed to achieve ambitious but realistic objectives. 

The high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly takes place every year in the last two weeks of September. Switzerland will again be represented at both Head of State and minister levels, thereby reaffirming its commitment to the UN as an important instrument of Swiss foreign policy.


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Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications