Federal Councillor Alain Berset opens World Meteorological Congress in Geneva
Swiss Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) Alain Berset opened the extraordinary session of the World Meteorological Congress in Geneva this afternoon. In his speech, he emphasised the central role played by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations, in dealing with global challenges related to climate change and extreme events.
In his opening address, Mr Berset focused on global issues such as climate change and mitigating the consequences of natural disasters. The ongoing refinement of weather‑, water‑ and climate‑related data and improved risk management mean that we are now better able to cope with the impact of extreme events such as those we experienced this summer.
As weather, climate and the water cycle are oblivious to national borders, global international cooperation in the domains of meteorology, climatology and operational hydrology is crucial. WMO is the UN agency providing the institutional framework for these efforts.
The Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss) is one of the government agencies representing Switzerland within WMO. Weather4UN, a pilot project led by MeteoSwiss and supported by the Swiss Federal Council, aims to improve the coordination of meteorological-data production and transmission within the UN system and for humanitarian organisations around the world. As a result of this initiative, early action can be taken and people will be better protected from extreme weather events.
This extraordinary session of the World Meteorological Congress will address, among other matters, WMO support for the global water agenda, the exchange of Earth system data, and progress with the WMO reform. To allow all 187 member states and six member territories to participate on a level footing, this Congress session, running from 11 to 22 October 2021, will – for the first time – be an entirely virtual event.