Switzerland celebrates its National Day on 1 August. On this special occasion, I wish to extend my warm greetings to our Bangladeshi friends and to my fellow Swiss citizens living in this beautiful country. As the world is struggling with the COVID-19 crisis, the Eid festival and the Swiss National Day give us a well-needed break and time to reflect and appreciate what is important!
To all of you who want to join us in celebrating our national day safely from home, we encourage you to visit our online meeting place specially designed for the occasion. Here, you can explore many Swiss do-it-yourself activities or even improve your yodelling skills: visit www.missione1agosto.org
Switzerland is not all about watches, cheese, chocolate and mountains. Diversity, solidarity, innovation and entrepreneurship, rule of law, strong institutions and federalism are at the core of what my country stands for. These values and aspirations also create the foundation of our strong commitment for multilateralism and our candidacy for a seat at the UN Security Council in 2023-2024.
Switzerland is proud to have enjoyed robust and forward-looking relations with Bangladesh for almost five decades. Our relations are rooted in solidarity, partnership and a common vision of prosperity and sustainable development. We have nurtured and grown close collaboration in many areas including economic and international cooperation, humanitarian aid, as well as cultural and political exchanges. I am confident that our two countries will continue to explore new avenues of cooperation, particularly on trade and investment and the Sustainable Development Goals. We will also continue to mutually benefit from sharing experiences on good governance and the promotion of human rights. It is my goal to further strengthen the ties between our two nations.
We are in an unprecedented crisis. The whole world is greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related challenges. Both our countries have stood by each other as friends in difficult times. To contribute to the fight against COVID-19 in Bangladesh, Switzerland has earmarked over 70 crore BDT and is working in close partnership with government agencies, national and international organizations, the private sector and the civil society. Many Swiss companies are also contributing with donations as well as innovative technologies and services.
To my fellow Swiss citizens living in Bangladesh, our Embassy stands ready to continue helping you in this challenging time. Please visit our website for further information.
I arrived in Dhaka in May, as the COVID-19 crisis took hold, to take up my new function at the helm of the Swiss Embassy. Unfortunately, I have not yet had the opportunity to explore the country. I am therefore very much looking forward to getting to know and experiencing first-hand the land and the people of Bangladesh.
I hope you will enjoy reading this special supplement. I wish you, your family and your friends all the best in these trying times. Let's celebrate Eid and the Swiss National Day by staying strong together, healthy and safe!