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Solidarity vital to overcome crises, Swiss president tells UN

Parmelin struck a personal note in his speech at the UN in New York and mentioned his professional background as a wine-grower. 2021 Getty Images

Guy Parmelin, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, has called for solidarity to tackle global environmental and trade issues.

Addressing the United Nations general assembly in New York, Parmelin said the Covid pandemic had entrenched protectionist policies and laid open the vulnerability of global production and delivery chains.

He appealed for anti-Covid vaccinations to be made available to everybody and highlighted Switzerland’s contribution to the international Covax initiative.

Parmelin also called for better access to education for women and children around the world and stressed the contribution of science in order to be prepared for future challenges.

Common solutions

His speech on Tuesday struck an unusually personal note, as he referred to his background as a winegrower.

“When hail or frost strikes, Swiss winegrowers help each other, and they call on the insurance funds which they have paid into. When a crisis affects entire regions, or even the planet, solidarity must be global and solutions common,” he said.

Parmelin and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis are present in New York. The two-week high-level meeting is being attended by more than 100 heads of state or government.

Neutral Switzerland, which joined the UN in 2002, is a candidate for a non-permanent seat on the UN security council for 2023/24.

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