Discours du Conseiller fédéral Ignazio Cassis, chef du Département fédéral des affaires étrangères (DFAE) - Seul le texte prononcé fait foi

Orateur: Chef du Département, Ignazio Cassis


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome! This House of Switzerland is your house. A great platform for inspiring discussions in a warm atmosphere, even though we're hosted in an ice rink!

I am pleased to welcome you to the fourth edition of the Geneva Day, which aims to connect international leaders at the WEF with Geneva-based global governance institutions.

I look forward to discussing with you nothing less than: How International Geneva can keep pace with the quantum revolution

And revolution is indeed the right word: Quantum computing holds the power to radically change humanity's relationship with its environment, and the way we communicate and process information. It has the potential to transform industries and societies.

This "physics of small things"­ – the quantum bits ­– is already embracing our daily lives, thanks to the performance of incredibly powerful machines. What was once considered science fiction is now our new reality!

Quantum computers are expected to solve 'hard' computational problems, which in turn could help develop new drugs, fight antibiotic resistance, or produce batteries with very high energy density.

These results are promising. This is the reason why quantum computing is currently the focus of massive public and private investment worldwide: The ones controlling the most powerful quantum technologies will have a comparative advantage.

We must be aware that this could also radically change the balance of power between the world's states and economies.

And this is why we have to actively participate in shaping new rules for this new game.

Furthermore, the world of Quantum and qubits still holds many secrets – perhaps a little less for you here, who are immersed in this technological field – still mysterious to the general public.

Many secrets, that stay behind many challenges.

This session will focus on the main one: the 'Quantum for all' challenge. In other words, how to prepare the global community and ourselves for a human-centred and thus inclusive use of quantum computing.

Both as a medical doctor and foreign minister I am strongly convinced that multilateral dialogue is key: science and diplomacy must work hand in hand to ensure that scientific and technological breakthroughs benefit all of humanity, not just a select few.

I am therefore grateful that the foundation Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA) ­­­has started and nourished a diplomatic dialogue on quantum computing.

GESDA did it by gathering inputs and guidance from the private sector, academic institutions and permanent representatives to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva.

This ongoing dialogue aims to help advance the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

But how do we move from beautiful words to concrete action?

This is precisely the purpose of the Open Quantum Institute launched by GESDA last October in Geneva and hosted today by CERN.

What is essential from my perspective is that this new instrument of science diplomacy will ensure broad access, promote education and shape multilateral governancefor the use of quantum computing.

What Switzerland aims at with GESDA and the Open Quantum Institute is something challenging and new: Combining anticipation and action. I mean acting now while looking ahead.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is now my honour to share the floor with the other distinguished guests.


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Département fédéral des affaires étrangères

Dernière mise à jour 29.01.2022


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