Promoting peace and human security

Today, there are some 60 million displaced persons seeking refuge and security.
Switzerland conducts its international cooperation activities by networking with many partners. © FDFA

Ohne Frieden und Menschenrechte kann es keine nachhaltige Entwicklung geben – und umgekehrt. Die Schweizer Aussenpolitik räumt der Förderung des Friedens und der menschlichen Sicherheit einen hohen Stellenwert ein.

The promotion of peace and human security is a matter of high priority in Swiss foreign policy. Central to that objective is the protection of individuals and their inviolable human dignity.

Peace and the respect of human rights are prerequisites for sustainable development. This simple truth has now also been incorporated into the development goals of the 2030 Agenda, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. The promotion of peace and human security is a priority for Swiss foreign policy.

The promotion of peace and human security fall under the responsibility of the Human Security Division (HSD) within the FDFA's Directorate of Political Affairs. The diplomatic and political efforts of the HSD, together with its operational activities, contribute to the realisation of the objectives of Switzerland's international cooperation policy.

Thematic priorities

The HSD works in four areas that belong to the domain of human security:

  • Peace policy
    Working to resolve conflicts through dialogue between parties
  • Refining humanitarian policy
    The primary objective is to ensure better protection of civilian populations, particularly in armed conflicts
  • Human rights policy
    Advancing the cause of human rights
  • Foreign policy on migration
    Ensuring the protection of migrants who are particularly vulnerable, advocating humane international migration policies and working to combat human trafficking

The HSD employs a wide range of policy instruments, depending on the situation at hand: mediation, facilitation, political dialogue, programmes for dealing with the past, as well as long-term programmes and regular bilateral meetings, such as human rights consultations and diplomatic interventions.

Geographical priorities

The HSD's activities are focused primarily on sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, the OSCE region and individual countries in Asia and Latin America.

Switzerland as a mediator for implementation of the peace agreement in the Philippines

In the Philippines, Switzerland provided assistance to enable the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to successfully implement the peace agreement they signed on 27 March 2014. At the request of both of the former parties to the conflict, Switzerland’s special envoy for dealing with the past assumed the chair of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

As chairperson, it is her duty to act as a mediator between the parties so that the Commission can carry out its mandate. That mandate is to prepare a report on ways of dealing with the massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that took place during the conflict, and to submit recommendations on how to proceed.