"You give me courage": Simonetta Sommaruga addresses the youth

The last Youth Session took place on 07.11.2020 live from the Federal Parliament and the Politforum Bern. With Federal President Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Council of States Hans Stöckli, young people from all over Switzerland and many more!!!

Press release, 3.11.2020  

"You give me courage": Simonetta Sommaruga addresses the youth 

For once, this year's Federal Youth Session to place online, but still very diverse. In addition to interesting workshops organized by Amnesty International and the Swiss UNESCO Commission, there was a live discussion with the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga. Also, the current Prix Jeunesse was awarded to Barbara Gysi. Finally, National Council President Isabelle Moret concluded the event with some exciting words to the participants."I was very touched by the commitment and solidarity of young people during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic," President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga told the participants, who took part in a live digital discussion on Saturday afternoon. The young people were able to bring their questions to the President of the Confederation, which they had prepared in groups the same morning. The topics discussed were highly relevant; the climate, sustainability, as well as concerns and thoughts about the impact of the Corona virus were discussed. Sommaruga expressed her commitment to the youth: "You give me strenght, and I thank your for that: I feel that you are here, that you are committed, that you offer us challenges, and participating in the Youth Session is an important contribution to democratic life in Switzerland."On Saturday morning, the young participants were able to take part in two online workshops. In a workshop organized by the Swiss UNESCO Commission, participants learned about the concept of Global Citizenship Education (GCE) in an interactive and fun way. A second workshop, organized by Amnesty International, used a role play to teach participants how to deal with discriminatory slogans and how to react to them in everyday life.In the afternoon, the Prix Jeunesse award ceremony was broadcast live. Each year, the Prix Jeunesse honors an individual or an organization for its commitment to young people. Barbara Gysi won the Prix Jeunesse 2020, which was officially presented at the Politforum in Bern: "For me, this choice is an obligation to commit myself even more strongly to the concerns of the youth of our country!".Finally, the President of the National Council, Isabelle Moret, had the honor of addressing some concluding words to the participants of the Youth Session. She thanked the youth who were very involved, especially for the elderly during the first wave: "I don't want our youth to be accused of transmitting the virus," she declared, "on the contrary, I know that our youth are bheaving very responsibly." Ms. Moret stressed the importance of intergenerational solidarity, which is necessary to overcome this crisis together.Political participationDespite the aggravated conditions caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, the Federal youth session was able to maintain its mission of political participation of youth by reinventing itself. Young people were able to engage in conversation with Simonetta Sommaruga and address their questions to her, participate in interactive workshops, and vote for someone for the Prix Jeunesse who has made a special commitment to youth in the past year 2020! The Youth Session, which brings together 200 young people for 4 days in Bern, celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021 with an anniversary edition.More information:

  • Giona Rinaldi, Project Manager
  • giona.rinaldi@sajv.ch // +41 31 326 29 26

 Since 1991, the Youth Session has been an example of citoyenneté in action: it promotes the participation of young people by giving them a say, helping to shape events and making decisions. The Federal Youth Session is a project of the Swiss Federation of Youth Associations (SNYC).