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International Diplomacy Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister calls for renewed disarmament efforts

A picture of Ignazio Cassis

Cassis called on North Korea to cease its development of nuclear weapons.

(Keystone)

Ignazio Cassis spoke today at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament and pledged Switzerland’s full support for efforts to prevent armed conflicts.

He urged the UN Secretary-General to “take ambitious and targeted measures” in today’s polarised world and said that the international security situation had become “much more unstable” since the end of the Cold War.

He called the city of Geneva an “international centre for dialogue and peace” which played an important role in helping to combat the many challenges the planet faces today.

Cassis particularly pointed out the risk of nuclear conflict and called on North Korea to comply with UN Security Council resolutions regarding disarmament. North Korea should cease its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, he said.

+Find out why Switzerland holds off on signing nuclear ban treaty  

And aside from sanctions, Cassis said it was “essential to maintain dialogue to reach a political solution” and said that Bern is ready to facilitate a dialogue between North and South Korea.

The minister said creating a world without nuclear weapons was a “colossal task”.

Syrian conflict

Cassis also raised the issue of the repeated use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict and said that the international community must react with a “strong and collective response”.

The humanitarian consequences of such armed conflicts on civilian populations was a major challenge today, he said.

“As we speak, the horror of war affects children, women and men in Damascus and too many innocent civilian victims, medical staff, patients and humanitarian aid workers are being attacked,” he said.

Switzerland welcomed Security Council Resolution 2041 which was passed on Saturday, said Cassis, calling on all parties to implement it with immediate effect. The resolution demands an immediate end to the fighting and the establishments of a humanitarian truce lasting at least 30 days in Syria.

SDA-ATS/ln

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