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Press release, 28.05.2020

On Thursday 28 May 2020, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, took part in a video conference on development funding at the invitation of the UN, Canada and Jamaica. The conference, which involved numerous heads of state and government, marks the start of a longer process which will focus on development funding at a global level during the pandemic and beyond.

The initiators want to prevent the progress achieved in global development over several decades from being wiped out by the current crisis. The guiding principle is the 2030 Agenda with its sustainable development goals for the global community. The conference aims to give impetus to a longer-term discussion of specific funding solutions and measures for managing the COVID-19 crisis.

‘As so often happens, it is the weakest among us who suffer most. In order to get through this crisis with dignity, we must develop a social model that is more sustainable, fairer and better equipped to adapt to changed circumstances’, Ms Sommaruga declared. This would mean making investments that are compatible with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, she added. She also called for inequalities to be reduced. The Swiss President described the slump in the level of money transfers that migrants and Diaspora members are making to their countries of origin as ‘alarming’, reaffirming the call made by Switzerland and the United Kingdom to keep channels for these transfers open.

Also represented at the conference alongside the UN member states were the most important actors in development funding, including the OECD, the IMF and the World Bank. Switzerland views the UN’s capacity to intervene during the current crisis as a serious concern. Therefore it welcomes the UN’s decision to tackle the vital issue of development funding in more detail during the corona crisis. On Thursday a process was initiated that will continue to the end of the year; its issues have also been put down for discussion at the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) and at the opening of the 75th UN General Assembly in September.


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