Between 1995 and 2000, the Swiss Confederation established the three Geneva Centres as internationally supported foundations. Since then the GCSP, GICHD and DCAF have become world-renowned expert organisations that make important, specialised contributions to the fields of peace, security and development policy. With the Dispatch it has submitted to Parliament today, the Federal Council applies for a framework credit of CHF 119.9m for the 2012–2015 period as part of its planned continued support for the three Centres. For 2008–2011, Parliament approved a corresponding credit line of CHF 148m.
Until now, the financing of the Centres has been shared between the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). From 2011, this responsibility will lie entirely with the FDFA. The Centres will however remain privileged partners for Swiss peace and security policy in both the military and civilian areas, including in the field of development cooperation.
The resources requested for the Center for Security Studies (CSS) of the ETH Zurich and for the cooperation projects of the DDPS, of CHF 28.4m for 2008–2011, which were previously requested as part of the same framework credit, will from now on form a separate application and will no longer be included in this Dispatch. In addition, the consolidation programme of the Confederation for 2012–2013 stipulates that cost-cutting measures must be taken at all levels of the administration to reduce the burden on the federal budget. The resources requested in today’s Dispatch take the current financial planning into account.
A co-operative peace and security policy is highly valued in today’s multi-polar and interconnected world. Through its support for the three Geneva Centres, Switzerland not only strengthens its own security but makes important and visible contributions to the international community. At the same time, the three Centres give added attractiveness and visibility to International and Humanitarian Geneva.
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