President Micheline Calmy-Rey has stressed that Switzerland will continue to work for sustainable development in the provision of water to poorer countries.
She was speaking at the Annual Conference on Cooperation with Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States which discussed the work Switzerland has been doing in the area.
For more than 20 years Switzerland has been supporting southeastern European countries such as Albania and Moldova in building reliable water supply systems and developing an effective public service.
Typical problems include antiquated installations which leak water into the ground and polluted wells.
In her opening speech to the conference on Friday, Calmy-Rey, who is also the foreign minister, said that far too many people were still living in poverty and were severely affected by environmental pollution. Switzerland had a vital interest in helping these people.
“That’s why it will continue to work for a sustainable development that combats poverty and protects natural resources at the same time,” she said.
The one-day conference was jointly held by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
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