The International Trade Centre (ITC)
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the joint agency of the United Nations and WTO. ITC’s mission is to enable export success by providing, with partners, sustainable and inclusive development solutions to the private sector, trade support institutions and policymakers. ITC has developed an online tool that centralises, organises and disseminates information on over 100 voluntary standards, codes of conduct and sustainability frameworks called Standards Map. Standards Map’s features include: analysing and comparing standards’ requirements, audit process and certification policies; reviewing best practices and sustainability frameworks used in over 80 sectors and over 200 countries and accessing most recent publications on sustainable trade in goods and services.
Switzerland officially the Swiss Confederation is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in western Europe,where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.
Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found. Among them are the two global cities and economic centres of Zurich and Geneva.
The Swiss climate is generally temperate, but can vary greatly between the localities from glacial conditions on the mountaintops to the often pleasant near Mediterranean climate at Switzerland’s southern tip. There are some valley areas in the southern part of Switzerland where some cold-hardy palm trees are found. Summers tend to be warm and humid at times with periodic rainfall so they are ideal for pastures and grazing. The less humid winters in the mountains may see long intervals of stable conditions for weeks, while the lower lands tend to suffer from inversion, during these periods, thus seeing no sun for weeks.
Switzerland has four official languages: German (63.7% total population share, with foreign residents; 72.5% of residents with Swiss citizenship, in 2000) in the north, east and centre of the country; French (20.4%; 21.0%) to the west; Italian (6.5%; 4.3%) in the south.Romansh (0.5%; 0.6%), a Romance language spoken locally in the southeastern trilingual canton of Graubünden, is designated by the Federal Constitution as a national language along with German, French and Italian (Article 4 of the Constitution), and as official language if the authorities communicate with persons of Romansh language (Article 70), but federal laws and other official acts do not need to be decreed in this language.