14.11.2012 - Press release
The Federal Council decides on the level of Switzerland's contributions to three United Nations bodies
The Federal Council has decided on the level of Switzerland's contribution to the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The contributions to 2012 will remain stable, while those for 2013 will be increased by 5%. The Federal Council is responding to the financial needs of these organisations and to the will of Parliament, which increased the framework credit for international development cooperation for the period from 2013 to 2016.
Today's decision means that the Federal Council will support the United Nations Development Fund to the tune of CHF 54 million in 2012. As for the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the government has decided that Switzerland's contribution for the years 2012 and 2013 will be CHF 28.7 million and CHF 41 million respectively.
These three institutions are among the 13 priority multilateral institutions for Swiss international cooperation approved by parliament. The international organisations are indispensable if the
UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are to be achieved.
The progress in this area has been promising but further efforts are needed to respond more effectively to the needs of poor countries.
-UNPD: the job of the UNPD is to help developing countries to formulate and then to implement their own development strategies. During the period 2009 to 2013, its activities focus on the fight against poverty, strengthening of democratic governance, protection of the environment and the restoration to stability of fragile states. These are a priority issues for Swiss development policy. As a result, Switzerland is very active within the administration board of the UNPD and makes a contribution not only in financial terms but also in terms of its experience.
-UNPFA : in 2011, the world population reached the record level of 7 billion. Even though women on average are now having less children than in the 1960s, population continues to grow. Fertility rates are highest among the poorest sections of the population. The main area of UNPFA activity is universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, and stabilisation of the population. This theme is also a priority for Switzerland which particularly supports the UNFPA in its efforts to reduce maternal mortality. The progress made so far is not enough to achieve the MDGs, as the aim was to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters.
-UNICEF: children are extremely vulnerable to the risks connected with poverty, humanitarian crises, armed conflicts and damage to the environment. The mandate and the activities of UNICEF focus on the development and protection of children, especially the poorest children and those that have been excluded and marginalised. Their rights to survival, development, protection against abuse, against violence and exploitation are at the heart UNICEF's activities. The results are visible: thanks to UNICEF, the number of children not going to school was reduced by 33 million between 1991 and 2011. The right to development and the protection of children are priorities for Switzerland.
The results achieved will also depend on greater efficiency in United Nations agencies. In order to achieve this goal, Switzerland is playing an active part in the reform of the operational system of the United Nations. The aim is to achieve greater coherence on the ground, above all by strengthening coordination between the different agencies.
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Additional Information and Documents
The UNDP has long been one of the most important partners for Swiss development cooperation. The UND...
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, was founded in 1946 with headquarters in New York. UNICE...
Created in 1969, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the organization within the UN system...
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