2014 Prize awarded to Didier Burkhalter, President of the Swiss Confederation
Monday 8th September 2014 at 6:00 pm, Palais des Nations, Geneva
On the 8th September 2014, the President of the Confederation, Mr. Didier Burkhalter was awarded the Foundation’s Prize in the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, during a ceremony to which the entire population of Geneva was invited. This prize was awarded in recognition of his efforts in favour of international Geneva.
The Fondation pour Genève wanted to mark the bicentenary of Geneva’s entry into the Confederation with force. In this spirit, it paid tribute to the country’s highest magistrate, a figure of integration who has constantly called for national cohesion and unity. This was the first time that the Foundation presented its Prize to a member of the government in office, and also to the President of the Confederation, thus underlining the exceptional character of this event in this year of Confederation celebration.
On this day, it is also the statesman who has placed International Geneva at the heart of the Federal Council’s foreign policy strategy who is being honored. Indeed, thanks to his efforts, the promotion of International Geneva is propelled forward. Important ministerial conferences on Iran and Syria were held in Geneva in 2012 and 2013, thanks to the availability and expertise of the head and staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Foundation thus wished to both encourage and reward the central role given to International Geneva by the Confederation, notably as a place for the promotion of peace, human rights and international cooperation.
Finally, the Fondation pour Genève wanted to salute the activity of the diplomat who sought to consolidate Switzerland’s relationship with the European Union, in particular with our neighbors, and to develop strategic partnerships with the main emerging powers and the actors of globalisation, in a series of key areas of international life. This policy of openness, dialogue and cooperation, conducted in accordance with the neutrality and tradition of good offices that characterize our country, can only further strengthen the role of Geneva, city of peace and capital of international cooperation.
Thus the choice of the General Assembly Hall in the Palais des Nations was a perfect symbol of the rewarded action of the President of the Confederation.