N Korea nuclear test provokes widespread outrage

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Few governments have remained quiet about North Korea’s third nuclear explosion Monday 11 February, which was registered in several places as a seismic activity. KCNA, the official news agency for the country has confirmed the explosion, saying a lighter, miniaturized nuclear device was used.” Reaction from several governments came swiftly, once the […]

Swiss lead European call to end death penalty

BERN, SWITZERLAND – A number of major European newspapers ran articles calling for an end to the death penalty, Wednesday 10 October, to mark the 10th annual World Day Against the Death Penalty. Switzerland was behind the initiative, with Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter signing a declaration and joined by the foreign ministers of Germany, Guido […]

Swiss criticized for slowness to embrace EU Iran sanctions

Vitol subsidiary’s purchase of Iranian oil targeted by Israeli, US critics BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland has been criticized harshly by the Jerusalem Post for what the Israeli newspaper calls “The Swiss government’s refusal to adopt comprehensive EU sanctions targeting Iran’s energy and finance systems”. Switzerland has a history of enforcing sanctions similar to those of […]

Switzerland sends half million francs in aid to Iran earthquake victims

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland has sent two logistics experts with 40 tons of emergency supplies to northwestern Iran, scene of a series of earthquakes earlier in August. A four-person Rapid Response Team has been on the site since 16 August. The new supplies sent to Tabriz include 200 tents, 200 tent insulation accessories, 200 heaters […]

Iran earthquake toll continues to rise

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Mixed reports are surfacing of Iran’s efforts to deliver help to the relatively isolated area in the country’s northwest, not far from the city of Tabriz, with official English language media saying rescue efforts have ended, while witnesses have told other media they are waiting for help. Two major earthquakes and some […]

Switzerland steps up sanctions against Iran

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland is stepping up measures against Iran to bring sanctions mostly into line with European Union ones, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs announced Thursday 5 July. The country has purchased no crude oil from Iran since 2006, but it will tighten the rules governing oil commerce, starting Friday. It is stopping […]

Geneva prepares to host special Syria meeting

Clinton, Lavrov among leaders coming for Saturday special session, as fighting worsens in Syria GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A high-level emergency meeting called for Saturday 30 June in Geneva by UN and Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan is taking on added urgency, as fighting intensifies in Syria. Thursday’s explosions near the Justice Ministry in Damascas […]

Cartoonists for peace vs heroes (update – correction)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Cartoonists for Peace have a terrific display of posters along the shores of Lake Geneva, stretching from the Mont Blanc bridge area up to the World Trade Organization, that runs until 3 June. The display includes posters by four Iranian cartoonists who were awarded the first International Editorial Cartoon Prize 3 May […]

Major Afghan refugee conference in Geneva seeks long-term solutions

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – US President Barack Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan 1 May has focused world attention on the country itself, but a two-day conference 2-3 May in Geneva is looking at the ramifications of 30 years of war in Afghanistan for refugees in two neighbouring countries. Some 40 international organizations and representatives from 60 […]

Kofi Annan seeks Iran’s support on Syria

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan is urging Syrian ally, Iran, to help in an effort to achieve peace, The joint UN and Arab League appointee on Syria met with Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, Wednesday 11 April in Teheran, saying that Iran could be “part of the solution”. The meeting […]