The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, will present the key areas of Switzerland's foreign policy in the framework of the UN at the opening of the general debate of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York (24-26 September).
A climate summit, at which Switzerland will be represented by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, will take place on 23 September prior to the opening of the general debate.
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Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations, New York
58 states (listed below) condemn the widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in a pervasive climate of impunity by the Syrian authorities and pro-government militias as well as by non-State armed groups. In consequence, the 58 countries call upon the Security Council to adopt the draft resolution presented by France referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). They strongly support this initiative as the best option available for bringing to justice the perpetrators of such horrendous crimes. Coordinated by Switzerland, the 58 countries have reached out to the wider UN membership by letter (see attachment) to encourage all UN member state to join the efforts and to send out a strong political signal by co-sponsoring the resolution. The 58 states strongly believe that impunity for the most serious crimes under international law is inacceptable. Without accountability there will be no sustainable peace in Syria.
The group of 58 states consists of Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Chile, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Samoa, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Uruguay.
The Group ACT (Accountability, Coherence and Transparency) and Security Council Report will host an event for the Launch of Security Council Report’s Special Research Report “Security Council Working Methods: A Tale of Two Councils?” on Friday, 16 May 2014, from 1.15 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. - Conference Room 6, North Lawn Building NLB, UN Headquarters
Everyone interested in the working methods of the Security Council is welcome to attend.
For more information on ACT see the Fact Sheet (pdf, 200 Kb).
Report “Security Council Working Methods: A Tale of Two Councils?"
New York, 7 May 2014: Ambassador Paul Seger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN delivered a statement at the Security Council open debate on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Statement (pdf, 50 Kb)
New York, 25 April 2014: Ambassador Paul Seger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN delivered a statement at the Security Council open debate on Women, peace and security.
Statement (pdf, 160 Kb)
New York, 9 April 2014: Ambassador Paul Seger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN delivered a statement for the Commission on Population and Development in the General Debate on "National experience in population matters: assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development".
Statement (pdf, 151 Kb)
21 March 2014 - The CSW called for a substantial stand-alone goal on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls within the framework of the post-2015 Development Agenda. The conclusions focus on a gender specific evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and identify major gaps in the implementation of the MDGs for women and girls.
After two and a half weeks of intense negotiations, member states at UN headquarters successfully agreed on an Outcome Document on this year’s topic, the “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”. The so called Agreed Conclusions point out the challenges and shortcomings of the implementation of the MDGs when it comes to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Whereas the specific MDG on gender, MDG number 3, focuses narrowly on the access to education, the Agreed Conclusions stress that a much broader concept of gender equality is needed in the post 2015 Development Agenda..
This year’s edition of the CSW obtained special importance in view of the ongoing discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which should succeed the MDGs in 2015. Switzerland welcomes the CSW’s Agreed Conclusions’ call for a substantial stand-alone goal for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls, a goal that has been actively promoted by Switzerland. “With its conclusions the UN Commission on the Status of Women sends out a strong signal to the international community that the full realization of gender equality and women’s human rights are a crucial factor for successful sustainable development”, said Switzerland’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Paul Seger.
The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014. This year's session has focused on the evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, which were set in 2000.
For the first time, Switzerland has been participating as a voting member of the CSW for a period of four years and is representing the Western European and Other States Regional Group (WEOG) in the CSW bureau. In this function, Switzerland has been appointed for the high-profile task of facilitating the negotiations on the outcome document of this year's session.
The CSW is the central policy making body of the UN for the status of women and improvements to gender equality. Founded in 1946, the CSW convenes once a year for two weeks in order to debate a different topic. At these meetings, the CSW, to which 45 UN member states belong, evaluates challenges as well as progress and formulates specific measures.
13 March 2014 - Statement (pdf, 147 Kb) by Switzerland for the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on the Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. The statement was delivered by Sylvie Durrer, Director of the Federal Office for Gender Equality.
7 March 2014 - Ambassador Paul Seger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN, delivered a statement at the Security Council’s Open Debate on the Children in armed conflict.
Swiss statement (pdf, 148 Kb)
24 February 2014 - President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Didier Burkhalter, in his capacity as Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) briefed the Security Council on the occasion of the regular yearly briefing of the Security Council by the OSCE Chair.
President Burkhalter speaks about the priorities of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship and the cooperation with the United Nations. He emphasizes the OSCE's willingness to play an active role with regard to the crisis in Ukraine and to provide expertise to support possible solutions.
Working Methods of the Security Council
Switzerland pursues the improvement of the Council’s working methods as a member and coordinator of a group of states called ACT (short for Accountability, Coherence and Transparency). This group was founded in May 2013 building upon the work of the earlier smaller group of five countries called the Small 5.
fACT sheet (pdf, 200 Kb)
29.10.2013 – Switzerland delivered a statement (pdf, 394 Kb) on reforming the working methods of the Security Council at the open debate on the working methods of the Security Council. It spoke in its capacity as the coordinator of ACT.
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