• THT 10 years ago :Switzerland ready to be a facilitator

Lalitpur, December 6, 2005

Expressing Switzerland’s readiness to play the role of facilitator in peace process, the ambassador of Switzerland, Dominique Dreyer, today said no unilateral approach here would lead to conflict resolution. “We could play a role of facilitator to bring various parties together to resolve the conflict,” Dreyer told journalists at Yala Maya Kendra today. He said Switzerland’s policy here is aimed at fostering peace process, promotion of rights and restoration of democracy. Stating that the rights situation has improved after the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights established its Kathmandu mission and the Maoists’ declared a ceasefire, the envoy added, “It is for the government to take its position in response to the unilateral ceasefire.” Dreyer said Switzerland is observing the situation here to decide what attitude it should take on Nepal.

He also confirmed that Switzerland won’t cut any aid to Nepal as long as there is no obstacle in providing the assistance to local people.

Special Adviser for Peace Building in Nepal at Swiss Foreign Ministry, Dr Gunther Baechler said, “Unilateral action from any side will fail. Unilateral ceasefire, conducting municipal election unilaterally or boycott to the elections will not help,” said Dr Baechler presenting Switzerland’s Peace Policy. He said Switzerland was actively trying to identify an entry point and convince parties for initiating the peace process.

Micro-loans offer hope to Nepal’s poor

More than 66 million of the world’s poorest people — 84 per cent of them women — received micro loans last year to start or expand micro businesses, according to a report of the Microcredit Summit Campaign.

The ‘State of the Micro credit Summit Campaign Report 2005’, for which data was gathered from over 3,100 institutions worldwide, was released today at the end of the United Nations’ International Year of Micro credit. The institutions reported reaching out to over 92 million clients, with 66.6 million individuals falling

into the campaign’s focus on the very poor people — those living below $1 a day. According to the report, 333 million members of these 66.6 million families are affected.

The figure is equal to the combined populations of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Norway. “This field was previously considered too micro to matter much,” the report says, quoting Sam Daley-Harris, the campaign director. “But now it is affecting a population ten times greater than that of Canada. Its reach is no longer micro.”

The report highlights two studies released this year that underscore micro credit in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.