Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter to represent Switzerland at the 2nd Nuclear Security Summit, in South Korea

Bern, 23.03.2012 - Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter will represent Switzerland at the 2nd Nuclear Security Summit this coming Monday and Tuesday in Seoul at the invitation of the South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak. More than 50 heads of state and of government and ministers will attend the Summit in the Korean capital, as well as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano. The Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) will take the opportunity presented by the Summit to meet government representatives of other countries, and on Sunday he will have an official meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea, Kim Sung-Hwan.

The aim of the Summit, following the first two years ago in Washington at the invitation of President Barack Obama, is to strengthen nuclear security through measures to prevent nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists. In 2009 in Prague, President Obama appealed to the international community to take control of all fissile materials within a period of four years. One year after the Fukushima disaster, there will also be discussions in Seoul on co-ordinating measures to avoid a recurrence of an accident of this kind.

The meeting with the South Korean Foreign Minister will take place in the setting of the festivities to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. South Korea is an important economic partner for Switzerland in Asia; our political relations and those in the field of science and technology are becoming stronger.

In the margins of the Seoul Summit, Federal Councillor Burkhalter is scheduled to meet, among others, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Vice-President of the Philippines, Jejomar Bina, the Deputy-Prime Minister of Israel, Dan Meridor, and the Foreign Ministers of Sweden, Carl Bildt, of Morocco, Taïb Fassi Fihri, of Egypt, Mohamed Kamel Amr, of Argentina, Hector Timerman, and of Georgia, Grigol Vashadze. The discussions will focus on bilateral relations and a range of international issues.

On Sunday, Mr Burkhalter will participate in “Swiss Weeks in Seoul”, an event marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the opening of the world fair, Expo 2012 Yeosu. The aim of these events is to enhance Switzerland’s image in South Korea. On Monday, he will travel to Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone separating the two Koreas to meet the Swiss delegation of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) in Korea. The NNSC monitors compliance with the Armistice Agreement between the two Koreas.

For further information, please contact:
Jean-Marc Crevoisier
Head of FDFA Information
+41 79 763 84 10

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs