Pakistan, Switzerland sign MoU on natural disaster cooperation

NATHIAGALI: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday attended the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Switzerland, which will promote cooperation in natural disasters, forecasting, and relief operations.

Addressing the ceremony, the PM said he looked forward to Swiss cooperation, in terms of receiving an advanced warning system and other gadgets from the country.

The prime minister said he had a “useful and constructive conversation” with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis. Apart from climate issues, they discussed expanding bilateral tourism, education, women empowerment, and Information Technology.

The prime minister said that Switzerland could play a vital role in promoting peace in the region.

In his remarks, the Swiss foreign minister said that the signing of the MoU between the two countries was vital for collaboration against climate change.

Cassias said that Pakistan was rich in breathtaking landscapes, but the recent climate disasters had caused destruction and displaced its people.

“These disasters require an urgent need for international cooperation to mitigate the risks associated with the natural catastrophes”, he said.

He highlighted the joint efforts between the two countries during the years 2010 and 2022 when floods struck Pakistan, adding the Swiss government swiftly provided emergency aid and supported the affected people.

The foreign minister further said that they were ready to embark on the new challenges in the field of disaster management which went beyond borders and stressed that these required global unified efforts.

“The document between the two countries will also prove as a milestone in bringing the National Disaster Management at par with the international standards under the vision of the prime minister”, Cassias said.

The foreign minister is on a three-day official visit to Pakistan. A high level delegation comprising members of Swiss Parliament and senior officials is also accompanying him.

Apart from calling on PM Shehbaz and Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, he also visited the Na­tional Disaster Man­agement Authority.

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