Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey is to be a member of a special United Nations panel on global sustainability.
Calmy-Rey will join more than 20 high ranking personalities in the new initiative, which has been set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said the foreign ministry on Monday.
The Global Sustainability Panel’s task is to find ways to lift people out of poverty, while tackling climate change and ensuring that economic development is environmentally friendly. It is to report back to the UN by the end of 2011.
“I have asked the panel to think big,” the Secretary-General said as he unveiled the scheme in New York. “The time for narrow agendas and narrow thinking is over.”
The panel will be headed by Finland's president Tarja Kaarina Halonen and the South African president Jacob Zuma.
The foreign ministry said that Calmy-Rey's appointment paid tribute to Switzerland's activities in the UN.
"It also provides Switzerland with an excellent opportunity to continue working internationally for sustainable development and to be in the front line of efforts to find solutions to the most pressing global problems,” it added.
swissinfo.ch and agencies