Ms Spoljaric's appointment is the first time a woman has been elected to head the ICRC. She has years of experience in multilateral diplomacy and the UN system. At the FDFA, Ms Spoljaric first served as deputy head of the FDFA's UN division at head office in Bern before being appointed head in 2015. In August 2018, she was appointed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres as Assistant Secretary-General of the UNDP.
The FDFA sees the nomination of one of its former employees to head the ICRC as evidence of the excellent reputation Swiss diplomacy enjoys around the world. This was also highlighted by Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis in his tweet congratulating Ms Spoljaric on her election on Thursday.
The ICRC is Switzerland's most important partner in the humanitarian field. The organisation plays a key role in protecting victims of armed conflict and implementing the Geneva Conventions. Switzerland is also supporting the ICRC's measures to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
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