This year, Switzerland will be represented at the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly by President of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Mrs Calmy-Rey will begin her work in New York on the weekend with a two-day meeting of the Panel on Global Sustainability convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, of which she is a member. The Panel will submit its report to the UN Secretary General in January 2012. Its conclusions will assist the Secretary General in developing a strategy for the UN's role in sustainability and will be incorporated in the preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 in Brazil ("Rio 2012") and other multilateral negotiations.
On 19 September, Mrs Calmy-Rey will participate as an eminent speaker in a symposium of the UN Secretary-General on international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, where she will plead for consistent respect of human rights and the rule of law in combating terrorism and for ensuring the legitimacy of international activities by linking them closely to the UN. That same day, President Calmy-Rey will represent Switzerland's position at the High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases. Non-communicable diseases (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases) account for 63% of deaths worldwide and are becoming an increasingly serious problem both in developed countries and in developing countries. In addition, the head of the FDFA is also invited to a ministerial dinner on the topic of Middle East.
On 20 September, Micheline Calmy-Rey will chair a ministerial-level meeting of the Organisation of the Francophonie and will represent Switzerland at the high-level meeting on combating desertification.
On 21 September the Swiss President will speak before the General Assembly of the United Nations at the General Debate that will begin that day. In addition, she will take advantage of the presence of numerous high-ranking delegations at the UN to hold a series of bilateral meetings.
Among Switzerland's priorities for the 66th UN General Assembly are the further optimisation of the working methods of the Security Council (more transparency, greater involvement of non-members of the Security Council) and its composition; commitment to internationally recognised procedural guarantees in regard to the Security Council's sanctions policy; disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; strengthening the UN's capacity to act in the area of peace and security; improving the consistency and effectiveness of measures in the area of development; the preparation of the Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro (Rio +20); active commitment to its priorities in international human rights protection; the negotiations on the UN budget 2012-2013 and further improvements in the management of the UN as well as working to strengthen the UN's role in global governance.
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