President of the Confederation to meet Pope in Rome and attend summit in Paris

Bern, 07.11.2023 - President Alain Berset will be travelling to Rome and Paris this week. On 9 November, he will meet Pope Francis in the Vatican. That same day and on Friday 10 November, he will attend several summit meetings at the Paris Peace Forum.

The meeting between Mr Berset and the Pope will be devoted, among other things, to peace support. The question of how Switzerland and the Vatican can best support peace efforts in Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example, will be discussed. The exchange follows on from talks that Mr Berset held with Church representatives during trips to the DRC in April and to Colombia in August.

Other key issues to be discussed in the Vatican include the investigation into abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church in Switzerland, the situation in the Middle East and Ukraine, and the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.

Peace Forum and Polar Summit
In Paris, Mr Berset will attend the 42nd session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The meeting will discuss how to protect common goods in times of great upheaval. The event is linked to the Paris Peace Forum, which is being held at the Palais Brongniart under the theme ‘Seeking common ground in a world of rivalry'. The around 20 heads of state and government, heads of international organisations and foreign ministers attending the Peace Forum will discuss in particular how to support global governance in the face of growing geopolitical rivalry.

Mr Berset will speak on the topic of 'Building peace for a safer world'. Climate change, global inequality and the need for digitalisation that people can trust will also be discussed in Paris. In addition, the Peace Forum will host the One Planet Polar Summit: the first international summit dedicated to the protection of glaciers and polar regions. Mr Berset will address the impact of climate change on glaciers in the Alps and underline the need for global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The summit will culminate in the signing of the Paris Appeal on Poles and Glaciers. The Appeal, which will also be signed by President Berset, addresses the threat posed by global warming to the cryosphere, including glaciers and the polar regions. The signatories commit to international cooperation, research and action to protect the cryosphere.

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