Discours – OECD Tidewater Meeting 2022 (en)
Berne, 14.06.2022 - Neuchâtel, 14.06.2022 – Discours du président de la Confédération et chef du Département fédéral des affaires étrangères (DFAE) Ignazio Cassis - Seul le texte prononcé fait foi
Dear members of the DAC
Ladies and Gentlemen
Welcome to Switzerland. Welcome to the city of Neuchâtel. It gives us great pleasure to host and co-organise this year's Tidewater Meeting of the OECD. The work of the OECD in general and the DAC in particular are of great importance to Switzerland. We share fundamental values and are jointly committed to mutual accountability, greater transparency in development cooperation, and the exchange of experiences and best practices for better policies. This is an essential prerequisite for international cooperation to remain effective and thus relevant.
1. The challenges of modern development cooperation
Development cooperation is facing enormous challenges. Covid-19 is by no means over yet, and low- and middle-income countries in particular will have to grapple with the consequences of the pandemic for a long time to come. The pandemic has set back development progress made in recent decades, extreme poverty is on the rise again and inequality is growing. Add to this the consequences of climate change, which already have a strong impact in many regions of the world: livelihoods are destroyed, biodiversity is affected and with the renewed war in Europe, there is a global food crisis looming. A crisis that – again – will hit the poorest people particularly hard.
At the same time, development cooperation is faced with high expectations, strong budgetary pressures and the demand for more transparency and accountability. But what is the role of modern development cooperation in achieving the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda? How should it work? And with whom? What values and principles should guide our work? These and other questions are at the heart of the Tidewater Meeting 2022.
2. Parliament as a symbol of consensus building
Today and tomorrow, you will meet in the House of Parliament of the Canton of Neuchâtel. Switzerland consists of 26 cantons. All with their own parliament, their own competences and their own responsibilities. At a time when the balance of power is being centralised more and more, and we face increasing polarisation, there is no finer place for such debates. It stands as a symbol of our democratic values, of good governance and of treating each other with respect – especially when faced with different opinions.
Ladies and Gentlemen: We need a joint approach. We need to combine our efforts if we want to find global answers to global challenges. For this, we need a strong and more effective multilateralism. I invite you to be honest and open-minded in your meetings and to have the courage to challenge yourselves – let us think out of the box! On behalf of the Swiss government, I wish you all a successful and fruitful Tidewater Meeting 2022. Thank you.
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