Federal President Alain Berset opens World Meteorological Congress
Geneva, 22.05.2023 - Swiss Federal President Alain Berset opened the World Meteorological Congress in Geneva today. In his speech, he emphasised the central role played by the 150-year-old World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations, in combating climate change and providing early warning of extreme events.
In his opening address, President Berset focused on global issues such as mitigating the consequences of natural disasters and climate change. Weather, climate and the water cycle are oblivious to national borders, and therefore global international cooperation in the domains of meteorology, climatology and operational hydrology is crucial. Comprising 187 Member States, WMO provides the institutional framework for these efforts within the UN.
The constant refinement of weather, water and climate data from national meteorological and hydrological services means that we are now increasingly well placed to cope with the impacts of extreme events such as droughts, floods and storms.
MeteoSwiss representing Switzerland
A focus of this year's Congress will be the UN's "Early Warnings for All" initiative, an effort to ensure that everyone on Earth is protected by early warning systems by 2027. As they seek to reduce the negative impacts of extreme events by means of targeted preventive measures, humanitarian organisations rely on weather and climate data being as accurate as possible. WMO is therefore in the process of improving the access that the UN system and other humanitarian organisations have to this critical information. To this end, the Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss), which represents Switzerland's interests within WMO, is playing a key role in the Weather4UN pilot project. This initiative, supported by the Swiss Federal Council, enables humanitarian organisations to take early action and so reduce the effects of extreme weather events on populations.
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Barbara Galliker, Head of Communications, MeteoSwiss
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