Since the conflict in Syria began, the third winter has now set in. The cold, the rain and the snow are making conditions radically worse for people displaced within the country and those that have fled to neighbouring lands. This situation has prompted Switzerland to donate a further CHF 5 million to the victims of the conflict who are suffering hardship. The money is to be used to fund winter programmes run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and by the UNHCR in Syria, and to provide Save the Children in Jordan with material assistance to withstand the winter.
Zurich, 11/2.12.2013 – On 11 December 2013, the fifth round of negotiations were held between Switzerland and the European Union with a view to linking their respective CO2 emissions systems. The draft agreement was also fine-tuned.
Am 11. Dezember 2013 fand in Brüssel turnusgemäss unter dem Vorsitz der EU die 59. Sitzung des Gemischten Ausschusses des Freihandelsabkommens zwischen der Schweiz und der EU von 1972 statt. Der Ausschuss stellte fest, dass das Abkommen insgesamt gut funktioniert und als wichtiges Instrument zur Erleichterung des Handels zwischen der Schweiz und der EU dient.
The Montreux Document, which recommends good practices for states related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict, celebrates its fifth anniversary. The number of signatory states has increased from 17 in 2008 to 49 today. Three international organisations have also joined this initiative: the EU, the OSCE and most recently NATO. Representatives of some 60 countries, international organisations, civil society, and private security companies will debate the challenges posed by this issue, as well as possible solutions, during a three-day conference in Montreux.