Archive for September, 2010

Sep 16 2010

EU Center of Southern California Newsletter

EU-Center-April ’11 Newsletter

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Sep 07 2010

Those Swiss again! Even Obama is (almost) one

Published by under The Astonishing

President Obama has Swiss Roots!

A small town in Switzerland has sent United States President Barack Obama a certificate making him an honorary citizen of their village, along with proof of his Swiss ancestry. Ried bei Kerzers, a village in the canton of Fribourg not far from the Swiss capital, Bern, announced last month that a Swiss archivist had traced Obama’s family tree on his mother’s side to their town. The ancestor, Hans Gutknecht, was Obama’s grandfather seven generations ago. Gutknecht was born and baptized in the Swiss village in 1692 and moved to France in the early 1700s. His son later moved to Pennsylvania, changing his name to Goodnight. U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Donald Beyer attended the press event held by the village to announce the news and said President Obama would be very interested in the finding. President Obama’s honorary citizenship certificate and family tree are on their way to him via diplomatic post.

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Sep 07 2010

Those Swiss!

Published by under The Astonishing

Switzerland at the Helm

Former Swiss president and foreign minister Joseph Deiss was elected President of the U.N. General Assembly on June 11 in New York. The highest position in the United Nations, the president is responsible for drawing up the agenda of the assembly, chairing debates, wording resolutions, finding consensus and moving the international community forward on issues of dispute. Unlike the U.N. Secretary General–currently Ban Ki-moon–the President has no decision-making powers. The appointment of Deiss to this position underscores international regard for Switzerland’s diplomatic expertise and its role as a bridge builder. The appointment was a particular honor for Deiss who during his term as foreign minister spoke up as an advocate for Switzerland’s entry into the UN during a 2002 referendum.

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