Ignazio Cassis inaugurates artist Saype's giant land art painting at the United Nations in New York

Bern, 18.09.2021 - Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and UN Secretary-General António Guterres inaugurated an 11,000-square-metre eco-friendly land art painting on grass created by the artist Saype at the UN headquarters in New York on Saturday. Saype's ephemeral work of art, World in Progress II, symbolises the UN's determination to strengthen international solidarity. The first part of "World in Progress" was unveiled at the Palais des Nations in Geneva in June 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN.

The world is facing extraordinary challenges that call for a constant renewal of the multilateral system and the creation of appropriate structures to respond to them. In the 76 years since its creation, the UN has undergone several reform processes and continuously adapted to changing needs. "The time has come to commit ourselves to better global governance, greater justice and peace," said Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the FDFA, at the ceremony. Mr Cassis underscored the importance of stepping up prevention efforts and enhancing cooperation between the various stakeholders, be they states, NGOs, academia or the private sector.

Monumental fresco on grass by Franco-Swiss artist Saype

The fresco painted on the UN's north lawn depicts two children working to build the world of tomorrow. It illustrates young people's contribution to making the UN stronger and more effective. It is also in line with the Common Agenda launched by Secretary-General António Guterres. The Common Agenda – aimed at injecting fresh impetus for greater international solidarity – will be debated at the 76th UN General Assembly, which began on 14 September.

Close ties between Switzerland and the UN

Federal Councillor Cassis stressed that Switzerland would make its extensive expertise available to help implement the Common Agenda. This commitment is in line with Switzerland's candidature for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council and its slogan 'A Plus for Peace'.

In June 2020, Saype created the first part of this giant biodegradable land art painting in the park of the Palais des Nations in Geneva. "This artistic link between the two UN headquarters illustrates the close ties between New York and Geneva. Switzerland is proud to host this UN site," said Federal Councillor Cassis, adding that Geneva provides the added value necessary to develop innovative solutions for a prosperous and sustainable future.

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