Swiss pledge support for UN Development Programme
Switzerland has decided to support the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) new financial plan. The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, on Monday met other foreign ministers and officials from the Programme in New York.
Deiss said Switzerland believes the UNDP is an important partner for regional and global development, particularly for humanitarian issues. He also said that regular meetings of foreign ministers of member countries of the UNDP would be important.
"One of the UNDP's major problems is its financial situation, which continues to worsen," said Deiss. "The countries paying the bills must find a solution."
Although Switzerland is not a member of the UN, it is represented on the body's executive council and this year contributed SFr52 million to its budget. The UNDP is the UN's largest body working for development, with a budget of $2.5 billion (SFr4.45 billion) and employing 5,000 people.
During his visit to New York, Deiss is scheduled to meet a number of foreign ministers during a meeting of the UN General Assembly.
Switzerland's relations with the UN will also be at the centre of discussions on Thursday and Friday. Meetings are planned with the Swiss mission at the UN as well as with Security Council delegates.
The Swiss government is trying to ensure that the Swiss people accept UN membership when it comes to a national vote in two years' time. The last time it was voted on, in 1986, it was rejected on a referendum.
Deiss will also hold talks with members of two Jewish organisations, the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-defamation League while he is in New York.
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