Swiss president Simonetta Sommaruga called for more transparency in the commodities trade during a speech on Monday at the Expo 2015 in Milan. She is also using the trip to meet the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.
Speaking in the Swiss Pavilion on what was designated Switzerland’s national day at the Expo, Sommaruga said that as an important platform for the trade, “Switzerland, but also our multinational corporations, bear responsibility” for some of the inequalities that exist in African nations. She referred directly to the “serious problem” of high childhood mortality rates in countries that have an exceptional amount of commodities at their disposal.
The Milan Expo 2015 runs from May 1 to October 31, and has chosen as its central theme “Feeding the planet, energy for life”. It will host more than 130 participants and expects 20 million visitors.
Switzerland’s pavilion aims to illustrate the consequences of human consumption. Four silo towers contain cups for tap water, small bags of salt, apple rings and coffee. Visitors are free to take as much as they wish, and as they do so the towers will gradually empty.
Seventeen days after opening, supplies in the apple ring and water beaker towers have gone down by about a quarter and 115,000 visitors have passed through the Swiss section.
On the agenda for Sommaruga’s afternoon talks with Renzi were issues such as refugee policy, Europe and potentially cross-border rail projects.
swissinfo.ch and agencies