Impacts of armed Violence on Human Development

Friday, 16. October 2009 | 11:10 Uhr


Thomas Greminger


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs


Thomas Greminger, director of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and diplomat, is confident despite almost daily reports on violent conflicts: “The international community has become aware of the fact that armed conflicts have negative consequences on development perspectives of the affected regions. Armed violence is the cause and consequence of misguided development. Such development has to be tackled as a whole and long-term strategies have to be applied; actions need to be coordinated on an international level. In order to avoid future conflicts, not only potential armed power but also structural risk factors have to be taken into account. This includes in particular education and training possibilities in regions at risk. But many issues remain unsolved and a lot has to be done to sustainably change the livelihood in all affected regions.”

Thomas Greminger

Ambassador Greminger is Head of Political Affairs Division IV, Human Security, of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The Division is Foreign Affairs’ main competence-centre for peace, human rights as well as for humanitarian and migration policy. PDIV offers and supports facilitation and mediation services to more than half a dozen peace processes worldwide (Kosovo, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burundi, Sudan), it designs and implements conflict transformation programmes (dialogue promotion, constitutional expertise, transitional justice, mine action, small arms etc.), it launches diplomatic initiatives in the mentioned policy fields (i.e. the creation of the UN Human Rights Council), it sends more than 200 experts per year to multilateral and bilateral peace operations and maintains contact with a dozen strategic partners of the Ministry (Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, Geneva Centre for International Security Policy, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue etc.). He is responsible for a team of over 70 employees and an annual budget of 65 million Swiss francs.

Ambassador Greminger studied history, economics and political science at the University of Zürich and earned his doctorate in history. He is a Lieutnant Colonel (GS) of the Swiss Army. He joined the diplomatic service of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in 1990 and started his diplomatic career as an attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Tel Aviv. In 1992 he became diplomatic adviser for development policy at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). He was a co-author of the Federal Council’s Guidelines North-South and deputy-head of the division in charge of their implementation in SDC. In 1996, he was promoted to head of the Development Policy and Research Division of SDC and Secretary of the Federal Council’s Consultative Commission for International Cooperation. From 1999 to 2001, he was chargé d’affaires of the Swiss Embassy in Maputo and country-director of Switzerland’s development cooperation programme in Mozambique. On his return to headquarters he became deputy-head of Political Affairs Division IV, in charge of the Peace Policy and Human Security Section.

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