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Parliament approves funding of peace centre

The Swiss parliament has voted to award SFr 2.85 million ($1.7 million) over the next three years to the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, which aims to promote dialogue in conflict regions.

The House of Representatives on Thursday unanimously followed the Senate in approving the financial package.

The foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, said the centre had played an important role in trying to promote the acceptance of humanitarian principles in conflicts in Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia.

Deiss said there was no overlap with the work of other humanitarian agencies.

The centre was set up in 1998, and has been funded by Britain, Switzerland, Sweden, the European Union and the United Nations. Belgium and the United States have also pledged money.

It replaces the Henry Dunant institute, which was founded in 1965 by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as well as Switzerland's national Red Cross organisation.

Dunant was the Swiss official who launched the Red Cross movement in the 19th Century.

swissinfo with agencies

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