Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed Switzerland as champion of human rights annd its devotion to cooperation, compassion and the relief of poverty.
In his address marking the 10th anniversary of Switzerland’s accession to the UN, Mr. Ban stresses that the country’s commitment to human rights reflected the spirit and mission of the United Nations.
“Switzerland is the global home for health and human rights, for refugee assistance and disaster preparedness, for labour rights and fair trade and so much else.” -Mr. Ban
He told the Swiss Parliament that the country’s devotion to the relief of poverty and suffering around the world is so powerful that it has been incorporated into the Federal Constitution.
Mr. Ban adds that the Latin inscription written on the Parliament’s ceiling signifying ‘One for all, and all for one’ also encapsulated “the spirit of the United Nations.”
The UN chief thanked the Swiss parliamentarians for their unrelentless financial donation for the renovation of the Palais des Nations – the UN headquarters in the country.
He says the Palais des Nations is itself a monument to the ideals that the United Nations and Switzerland share – a living monument where thousands of staff bring those ideals to life,” the UN chief stated.
“The United Nations highly values your commitment to preserving our history while making the complex a model of sustainability and energy use in serving new generations.” -Mr. Ban
The bonds between Switzerland and the United Nations are strong and growing stronger, Mr. Ban also said.
“At this time of uncertainty and unease, it is good to know that the United Nations can count on your support, on your friendship, on your commitment and on your leadership of Switzerland.” -Mr. Ban
Reports say Switzerland has the most competitive travel and tourism sector in the world.
In 2011, the Swiss travel and tourism industry contributed 2.5% to the national GDP and directly accounted for 4.5% of the country’s total employment. Switzerland is the 16th most visited country in Europe and, according to World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) data, ranked eighth in the region for international tourism receipts in 2011.