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- Directory of the Diplomatic Corps (fr) (339 Kb, pdf)
The diplomatic corps (CD) is a body consisting of all members of the diplomatic staff accredited to a state. It is headed by a doyen. In Switzerland the doyen is always the papal nuncio (the representative of the Holy See).
About 170 countries have an ambassador (head of an embassy or of a diplomatic mission) accredited to the Swiss Federal Council:
- Half of these missions are based in Bern.
- Just under a quarter of the missions are located in Geneva, as their heads are also heads of the Permanent Missions (double accreditation to the Swiss Federal Council and to the UN).
- Over a quarter of the ambassadors accredited in Switzerland head a diplomatic mission located abroad (for example in Paris, Berlin, etc.).
The 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations governs the special position of diplomats.
New Year reception
As the protocol of the Confederation stipulates, there is a tradition that in mid January the papal nuncio in his capacity as doyen of the diplomatic corps presents his New Year wishes to the President of the Confederation. The President responds by expressing the New Year wishes of the Federal Council to the diplomats accredited to Switzerland. The ceremony brings together the ambassadors and chargés d’affaires, the presidents of the National Council and the Council of States, the presidents of the foreign policy commissions, and the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. This ceremony is preceded by the presentation of the wishes of the Bernese authorities (canton, city, and citizens) to the Swiss government.