Ambassadors Conference 2011

Bern, Press release, 18.08.2011

On Monday, 22 August 2011, President of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey will open this year’s Ambassadors Conference at the Museum of Transport (Verkehrshaus) in Lucerne. The opening event will also feature speeches by the Belgian philosopher and economist Philippe Van Parijs and the President of the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Patrick Aebischer. The main themes of the Conference, scheduled to run until 26 August 2011, are the positioning of Switzerland at the international level, the challenges associated with defending Swiss interests in times of increasing globalization, and various issues concerning sustainable development.

In her traditional opening address, the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), President of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey, will present an overview of Swiss foreign-policy commitments, along with the current challenges facing Switzerland. Her remarks will focus on the priorities of Swiss foreign policy, i.e. Swiss policy on Europe based on the bilateral approach, the expansion of Swiss opportunities for involvement outside of Europe, the representation of Swiss economic and financial interests, as well as peace promotion and development cooperation.  

More than 300 representatives of Switzerland abroad will be participating at the Ambassadors Conference: Ambassadors, Consuls-General, Heads of the Cooperation Offices of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), as well as, for the first time, Swiss Honorary Consuls. This annual meeting provides an opportunity for exchanges on the key issues of Swiss foreign policy, and for discussions with selected representatives of other offices of the federal government. Various specific themes such as the fight against poverty, climate change, the restitution of potentate assets, and energy policy will be taken up in plenary discussions, workshops, and in working groups. 

As in previous years, members of the Federal Council will also be participating in a number of workshops at the Conference in Lucerne. This year’s programme includes the Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) Didier Burkhalter, the Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) Ueli Maurer, The Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA) Johann Schneider-Ammann, and Doris Leuthard, Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). Federal Chancellor Corina Casanova will also be participating at the Conference.  

Information for the media: Media representatives are invited to attend the Ambassadors Conference opening event on 22 august 2011 from 9:30 to 12:15 at Lucerne’s Swiss Transport Museum (Verkehrshaus). The opening address by the Head of the FDFA Micheline Calmy-Rey will be followed by a speech given by Philippe Van Parijs, Professor of Economics and Social Ethics at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and Guest Professor at Harvard University. The President of the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Patrick Aebischer, will then be next to address those assembled.   

Further information:

Medienkalender: Medieneinladung Eröffnungsveranstaltung Botschafterkonferenz 2011(de)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs