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Thierry APOTHELOZ: "Welcoming NGOs from developing countries is particularly important"

Interviewed by Deo HAKIZIMANA, President of CIRID.

What actions do you vision Geneva contributing to the promotion of peace and development for Africa, especially in areas still in crisis (Maghreb, Great Lakes, Horn of Africa?

If important decisions are made within the UN in New York, it is in Geneva that global governance takes place. The new constitution states, finally, that the state (ie the canton and the communes) must carry out an active policy in favor of international Geneva. This should be one of the priorities of the next Council of State, for the promotion of peace and development but also for Geneva to remain an important center of negotiation and decision-making in a multipolar world. The new government will therefore have the obligation, in addition to facilitate the work of these institutions, to make every effort to ensure that international and non-governmental organizations do not choose to locate elsewhere because of the difficulties of finding housing or a home. cost of living important. These two essential and sensitive points tie in to my political and personal commitments. Finally, the government will have to fulfill its commitment to put 0.7% of its budget for official development assistance: it is a necessity for Geneva.

What place can the African diaspora, together with the Geneva and international civil society, have in this design?

I campaign daily, and even more as part of my actions at the Mayor of Vernier for the integration of all. I see the African diaspora already present in our associations, our Municipal Councils, our companies, in the civil society. Through this daily commitment, the African diaspora in its diversity must bring the State to commit itself to the promotion of the peace and the development of Africa.

By offering their unique perspectives, Africans in Geneva will help achieve ambitious goals!

Beyond, what can and should be the role of the Swiss Confederation in this context and how do you intend to contribute?

The Confederation must make a concrete commitment to the promotion of peace and development aid. First, by engaging in the field by supporting innovative projects by the inhabitants and for the inhabitants. Secondly, by developing bilateral relations with the governments of countries in Africa in particular, to encourage measures that ensure peace and development for all, not just a minority. Finally, for Geneva, this means a renewed commitment to support international Geneva by providing a welcoming environment for international organizations and NGOs: those already established and bringing new ones. The reception of NGOs from developing countries is particularly important because they are often forgotten, which has a negative impact on taking into account the specific interests of developing countries. A dynamic international Geneva, these are opportunities for development through cooperation and for the cultural and economic dynamism of the canton.