UN High Commissioner for Refugees pays visit to Bern
Bern, 03.04.2023 - On 3 April, President Alain Berset and Federal Councillor Elisabeth Baume-Schneider received the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, in Bern. The talks focused on cooperation between Switzerland and the Office of the High Commissioner in Geneva (UNHCR). During his visit to Bern, the High Commissioner also met with the director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Patricia Danzi, as well as representatives from various refugee organisations in Switzerland, members of parliament and journalists.
Federal Councillor Baume-Schneider, the head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), met with High Commissioner Grandi for the first time. Their talks focused on the current migration situation and the situation of persons from Ukraine seeking protection.
The UNHCR's resettlement programme was also discussed. The FDJP suspended the admission of refugees in this framework last autumn at the request of the cantons due to the already large number of people seeking protection in Switzerland. Ms Baume-Schneider assured the High Commissioner that the resettlement of refugees in need of special protection would be resumed as soon as the situation in the cantons allows.
Meeting with President Berset
During the High Commissioner's meeting with President Berset, both sides commended the excellent cooperation between Switzerland and the UNHCR. Mr Berset emphasised Switzerland's commitment as host state of the UN agencies in international Geneva to admitting refugees and to supporting global migration policy. In particular, he stressed the need to address the causes of refugee flows worldwide.
In this context, the discussion turned to Switzerland's priorities in the UN Security Council, which all serve this goal. These include building sustainable peace, protecting civilians in armed conflicts, addressing climate security and enhancing the effectiveness of the UN Security Council. Both sides stressed that in view of their shared priorities, Switzerland and the UNHCR should intensify their cooperation.
Global Refugee Forum to take place in Geneva in December
At the meeting between the High Commissioner and the director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Patricia Danzi, cooperation in several crisis contexts was discussed (Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria/Turkey, Horn of Africa). A key topic was also the state of preparations for the Global Refugee Forum to be held in Geneva for the second time in December and co-hosted by Switzerland and the UNHCR.
In 2022, Switzerland contributed a total of CHF 58 million to UNHCR, 40% higher than the previous year due to the increased needs caused by the abovementioned crises and conflicts.
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Last modification 06.09.2022