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Bern, Press release, 15.09.2010

The high-level meeting of the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly in the third week of September will be attended by the President of the Confederation Doris Leuthard and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. Mrs Leuthard will speak on 23 September in the general debate. Mrs Calmy-Rey will attend the newly established Panel on Global Sustainability whose first meeting will be on 19 September. She will also attend a meeting on 20 September to take stock of the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals so far. The 65th session of the General Assembly will be chaired by former Federal Councillor Joseph Deiss.

Two members of the Federal Council will represent Switzerland in the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly. President of the Confederation Doris Leuthard will speak on behalf of Switzerland in the general debate beginning on 23 September. She will be the third speaker after US President Obama. Mrs Leuthard will also hold bilateral talks with her foreign counterparts and will attend the official working dinner at the invitation of the UN Secretary-General.  

At the request of the UN Secretary-General, Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey will participate in the first meeting of the Panel on Global Sustainability on 19 September. The purpose of this panel is to develop new approaches to the solution of global environmental and development problems. Its membership consists of over 20 high-ranking personalities. Mrs Calmy-Rey has also been invited by Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos to a working dinner to discuss the Near East issue. 

On 20 September Mrs Calmy-Rey will attend the meeting of ministers to discuss the Millennium Development Goals. The object of these goals formulated in 2000 include the elimination of hunger, the halving of extreme poverty and of infant and maternal mortality. The goals were intended to be achieved in 2015. The New York summit meeting is viewed as a chance to speed up the implementation of these goals.  

Other meetings at ministerial level will take place on the subject of disarmament and the sustainable development of small island states ("Mauritius Strategy").  Switzerland will be represented by State Secretary Peter Maurer and by SDC Director Martin Dahinden. On 22 September Bruno Oberle, Director of the Federal Office of the Environment, will take part in the UN's special debate to discuss the preservation of biodiversity as well as politically sensitive issues such as the distribution of profits from the use of genetic resources.  

Switzerland's priorities for the 65th UN General Assembly include: further improvement of working methods in the Security Council (more transparency, greater integration of non-members in the Security Council); advocacy of internationally recognised procedural guarantees in connection with the Security Council's sanctions policy; improvement of the coherence and effectiveness of measures in the field of development, disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; active participation in the review of the activities of the Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva; and working to ensure the successful conclusion of the UN Climate Conference in Cancún. 

The 65th session of the UN General Assembly is especially important for Switzerland because it will be chaired by former Federal Councillor Joseph Deiss. His election on 11 June 2010 was a clear sign that the international community recognises Switzerland's activity in the UN.

Further information:

The Millennium Development Goals
Joseph Deiss elected President of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly

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