2012 Prize awarded to Ruth Dreifuss, Former President of the Swiss Confederation
Monday 24th September 2012 at 6:30 pm, Victoria Hall, Geneva
The Fondation pour Genève has designated Ruth Dreifuss as the 2012 laureate of the Fondation pour Genève Prize for her commitment and action at the international level in favour of the abolition of the death penalty and the fight against AIDS and drugs.
In choosing Ruth Dreifuss, the Foundation Board has decided to honour an exceptional woman with the Foundation Prize for Geneva.
A former Federal Councillor for ten years and the first woman to be elected President of the Confederation, Ruth Dreifuss continues to fight for equal rights for men and women and for greater social justice, both nationally and internationally. The struggle has never left this remarkable personality, from the most modest levels of her activity to the highest steps of power.
She joined the Socialist Party in 1964 and was a political fighter who headed the important Ministry of Public Health. She was a pioneer in the fight against AIDS, in a progressive policy on drug addiction, in the progress of health insurance and in solidarity with refugees. Displaying a moral attitude, a rectitude, and even an austerity that never fails, Ruth Dreifuss leaves her mark on people’s minds with her human warmth and a frank and direct tone that cuts through the clichés. Regardless of their political affiliation, everyone emphasized her hard work and her respect for the rules of democracy.
Already very present while she was a federal councillor and then President of the Confederation, her international action became more pronounced after her resignation at the end of 2002. With the same energy and the same conviction, she campaigns in particular for the universal abolition of the death penalty, for the rights of asylum seekers and for a drug policy that puts health and safety first.