Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis meets UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore in Bern

Press release, 04.12.2018

Switzerland works closely with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on tackling crucial child protection issues. At Tuesday's meeting in Bern, Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore stressed the importance of this relationship in implementing United Nations reforms and the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ms Fore also met Manuel Sager, Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), along with members of Parliament.

Federal Councillor Cassis shakes hands with Henrietta Fore. In the background the flags of Switzerland and the UN can be seen.
Ignazio Cassis and Henrietta Fore discussed the vital role played by UNICEF in implementing the reform of the United Nations development system. © FDFA

At their meeting, Mr Cassis and Ms Fore discussed the vital role played by UNICEF in implementing the reform of the United Nations development system, which is aimed at improving overall efficiency and delivering tangible results. Henrietta Fore, who was on her first official visit to Switzerland since taking up office as UNICEF Executive Director in early 2018, also outlined UNICEF's track record in working with private sector partners.

UNICEF is Switzerland's most important partner in promoting children's rights in developing countries and in a variety of humanitarian contexts. Switzerland cooperates with UNICEF on education, humanitarian action and protecting children from violence and harmful social and cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation. UNICEF and Switzerland are also committed to supporting a global partnership to protect children against violence and abuse.

Through the SDC, Switzerland will make an overall contribution of CHF 59.6 million to support the work of UNICEF for the period 2018–20. The SDC also provides CHF 16 million annually to support UNICEF's humanitarian and development operations. As a strategic donor country and member of the UNICEF Executive Board, Switzerland is actively involved in monitoring and evaluating UNICEF's operational and financial reports. Switzerland also engages in regular dialogue at various administrative levels within UNICEF to take stock of progress and reflect on the challenges ahead.

Henrietta Fore also held talks with SDC Director General Manuel Sager. The SDC sends experts to implement UNICEF programmes in strategic areas, such as providing emergency protection, water and sanitation.  Ms Fore and Mr Sager discussed ways to strengthen cooperation between the SDC and UNICEF, especially in relation to basic education, engagement with the private sector, humanitarian aid and child protection. While she was in Bern, Ms Fore also had the opportunity to meet members of Parliament.

Further information:

Partnership between Switzerland and UNICEF

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Information
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs