Switzerland takes part in the second Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations

Bern, Press release, 03.04.2009

Switzerland will take part in the second Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, which will be held in Istanbul from 6-7 April 2009. For Switzerland, this decision is an expression of its commitment to promote the peaceful coexistence of different cultures and religions. The Swiss delegation will be led by Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey.

The aim of the Alliance of Civilizations is to promote the peaceful coexistence of the different cultures and religions of the world and to contribute to mutual understanding.  Switzerland is one of more than 80 countries making up the Alliance, which was founded in 2005 under UN patronage on the initiative of Spain and Turkey. The UN is represented in the Alliance leadership by the High Representative to the UN Secretary-General for the Alliance of Civilizations and former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio. 

The second Forum takes place on 6-7 April 2009 in Istanbul. The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Spanish Head of Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon are expected to attend the opening ceremony. In addition, leaders from the private sector, the media and civil society will also be present.  

Switzerland has been a member of the Alliance since 2006. On the strength of its experience in civilian peace building, it is active in projects to find concrete solutions to problems that arise between different cultural or religious communities.  

For further information:
Nadine Olivieri, spokesperson FDFA, +41 79 763 96 43

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