UNITED NATIONS DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL ADDRESSES CEREMONY MARKING 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF FEDERAL STATE IN BERNE19980605 GENEVA, 4 June (UN Information Service) -- Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette today addressed a ceremony held at Switzerland's National Council Chamber in Berne which marked the 150th anniversary of the Federal State.
Ms. Fréchette arrived at Berne's Belp Airport at 12:05 p.m. where she was welcomed by the Chief of Protocol. She was accompanied to the Villa Lohn where the Federal President of Switzerland, Flavio Cotti, hosted an official lunch for her and other guests of honour who included Heads of State of neighbouring countries. After lunch, the guests visited an exhibition of historical scenes of 1848 in the Federal Square before heading for the National Council Chamber.
The ceremony at the Parliament building was held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ms. Fréhette spoke as the representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Other speakers included Roman Herzog, President of Germany; Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, President of Italy; Thomas Klestil, Federal President of Austria; Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein; and René Monory, President of the Senate of France.
Tomorrow, Ms. Fréchette will accept Geneva's Palais Wilson from President Cotti. The building will be given to the United Nations as a contribution by Switzerland to the work of the Organization. From August this year, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction will be based at the Palais Wilson. Ms. Fréchette and President Cotti will deliver statements at the Palais Wilson on the theme "Human Rights - an instrument for peace".
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