Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has met members of the cantonal government in Geneva to discuss security in Switzerland’s second-largest city.
The working meeting follows the alleged violent assault of the son of a United Nations diplomat in the centre of Geneva in July which gained widespread attention and raised concerns over safety in the western city.
Very little was divulged about Monday’s session of the “Permanent Joint Confederation-Canton Geneva Group on Priorities for International Geneva”, which was attended by Calmy-Rey, Geneva head of security and police Isabel Rochat, police chief Monica Bonfanti and cantonal president Mark Muller.
“The session was very constructive,” said cantonal spokesman Laurent Paoliello, adding that everyone agreed that security needed to be improved quickly.
Following the reported attack in July, the UN issued a warning to its staff about going out alone in the city at night. The foreign ministry also said it was "concerned" by the “deterioration of the security situation in recent months”.
Ahead of Monday’s meeting Calmy-Rey told swissinfo.ch that authorities “felt a certain pressure [from the UN and diplomatic missions] as international civil servants have the feeling that insecurity has worsened – but it’s something that affects all Geneva residents, of whom the international staff are just a part”.
Police are still investigating the incident but local media have reported that the victim has since amended his story and toned down the violent nature of the attack.
Security remains an major issue in Geneva, which is regularly ranked in the top ten of quality-of-living listings but continues to hold the top spot as the Swiss city with the highest number of crimes per inhabitant – 179.5 per thousand in 2010.
swissinfo.ch and agencies