ORGANIZATIONS ROTATE LEADERSHIP
New Year’s Day marks a string of ceremonial transitions at the helm of several major international organizations.
The leadership at the UN’s core Security Council will rotate to EU’s Nordic associate Norway for a month, while Germany will take over the G7 presidency for 2022. China will chair both the BRICS club of emerging economies and the leaders’ council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Cambodia will take up the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
CASSIS TAKES ON SWISS PRESIDENCY
Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis will take on the presidency of the alpine nation. It is a largely symbolic role rotated among the confederation’s seven-member cabinet.
Cassis was elected by the Swiss parliament in early December to succeed Economy Minister Guy Parmelin. He will continue serving as the country’s top diplomat.
AUSTRIA LEGALIZES ASSISTED DYING
A law legalizing assisted suicide for seriously ill people takes effect in Austria. It sets out strict criteria for euthanasia after the top Austrian court lifted the ban from January 1.
People over 18 who are suffering from a terminal debilitating illness will be allowed to buy a lethal drug from a drugstore after consultations with doctors as long as they are deemed mentally competent.
SOUTH AFRICA HOLDS FUNERAL FOR DESMOND TUTU
A small-scale funeral ceremony for South Africa’s iconic anti-apartheid archbishop, Desmond Tutu, will be held at his former parish in Cape Town.
The 90-year-old winner of a Nobel Peace Prize died in a nursing home last weekend. His body has been lying in state at St George’s Cathedral. It will be cremated and the ashes buried on Saturday.