FDFA news

Here you can find the last 12 media releases and other news published by the FDFA, such as statements, announcements and articles, in chronological order.

All media releases can be found on the Administarions's website.

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Switzerland to adopt OECD standard on administrative assistance in fiscal matters

13.03.2009 — Press release EDA
The Federal Council has announced today that Switzerland intends to adopt the OECD standard on administrative assistance in tax matters in accordance with Art. 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention. The decision will permit the exchange of information with other countries in individual cases where a specific and justified request has been made. The Federal Council has decided to withdraw the corresponding reservation to the OECD Model Tax Convention and to enter into negotiations on revising double taxation agreements. Swiss banking secrecy remains intact.



Yearly consultations of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in Bern

13.03.2009 — Press release EDA
Representatives of Switzerland, Sweden and Poland, Member States of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) in Korea, met in Bern on 13 March 2009 for their yearly consultations. Discussions focused on current tasks of the NNSC and recent developments on the Korean Peninsula. The NNSC Member States reasserted their long-term commitment to contribute to a permanent peace solution on the Korean Peninsula.


Attack in Sri Lanka

11.03.2009 — Press release EDA
The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has taken note with dismay and sadness of the news of the suicide attack yesterday near a mosque in Akuressa in the south of Sri Lanka, which caused the deaths of 15 people and wounded dozens more, including members of the government. Switzerland condemns in the strongest possible terms this terrorist attack and all such indiscriminate attacks directed against the civilian population of Sri Lanka. It expresses its deep condolences and solidarity with the Sri Lankan authorities and to the families and friends of the victims.


Vietnamese medals awarded to Eawag scientists

10.03.2009 — Press release EDA
Four Eawag scientists today received official medals from the Vietnamese government for their achievements in the areas of drinking water quality and sanitation. The medals were awarded in recognition of “outstanding contributions to education and training in Vietnam”. With financial support from the Swiss government, the scientists succeeded in strengthening capacity at two research centres in Northern Vietnam and improving the quality of local water supplies and wastewater management.


Banking secrecy remains intact - improved international cooperation in the case of tax offences

06.03.2009 — Press release EDA
At its meeting today the Federal Council noted that the protection of the privacy of bank customers (banking secrecy) from unwarranted state intervention remains intact. However, the Federal Council wishes to improve cooperation with other countries in the area of tax offences. In addition it is prepared to enter into dialogue with third countries on the taxation of savings income. The criticism directed towards Switzerland by various countries due to its banking secrecy was resolutely rejected by the Federal Council. In addition, the Federal Council today appointed a group of experts to provide support in an advisory capacity. The group will be chaired by Ambassador Manuel Sager.


The FDFA is worried by the expulsion of humanitarian actors from Darfur

05.03.2009 — Press release EDA
The FDFA deplores the fact that the Sudanese authorities have decided to expel humanitarian actors from Darfur in response to the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court, published on 4 March 2009, to issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president.


Interest sections for Georgia and Russia start work

04.03.2009 — Press release EDA
The interest sections of the Swiss representations in Moscow and Tbilisi will start work tomorrow Thursday 5 March 2009. As of that date, Switzerland will represent Georgia's interests in Russia and those of Russia in Georgia.


Extension of the final prolongation of the freezing of Mobutu

25.02.2009 — Press release EDA
On 12 December 2008, the Federal Council decided to prolong the freezing of the assets of the late president Mobutu and of his entourage (approx. CHF 7.7 million) to 28 February 2009. The purpose of this prolongation was to enable the lawyer of the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) to initiate proceedings in Switzerland to block the assets and to enable the competent legal authority to decide how to deal with the case. A criminal complaint was filed with the Federal State Prosecutor by the RDC on 23 January 2009. As the examination of the case is a time-consuming task, the Federal Council considered it necessary to order a further extension to the final freezing, i.e. until 30 April 2009.


Visit by the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to Berne

24.02.2009 — Press release EDA
The director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Mr Francis Gurry was received in Bern today by a delegation of the FDFA and the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property. The discussions focused mainly on governance within the organisation, the strengthening of the global regime for the protection of intellectual property rights and questions concerning the host state.


2008 Statistics on the Swiss abroad

13.02.2009 — Press release EDA
After the record increase of 23,097 persons in 2007, the number of Swiss living abroad increased by only 8,069 persons in 2008. The total is now 676,176. The community of the Swiss abroad has increased by 114,620 (20.4 %) over the last 10 years.


The FDFA appeals to all the conflicting parties in Sri Lanka to respect humanitarian law.

05.02.2009 — Press release EDA
The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation prevailing in Sri Lanka. The disregard for humanitarian standards shown by combatants in the north of the country has resulted in many victims and seriously endangered some 200,000 civilians caught in the cross-fire. Following to this the FDFA makes an urgent call on all the parties to respect international humanitarian law and to stop the hostilities.

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