New York, 21.09.2020 - Address (Video message) by the Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis at the 75th UN General Assembly - Check against delivery

Speaker: Cassis Ignazio; Head of Department, Ignazio Cassis

Mr President of the General Assembly,
Mr Secretary-General,

75 years ago, the world was plunged into suffering and horror. The Charter of the United Nations set the ambitious goal to maintain international peace and security, based on a world order founded on dialogue and common rules.

We have come far since the creation of the Organisation 75 years ago. Humanitarian aid, respect for human rights, peace operations and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have saved and improved the live of countless people across the globe. However, we cannot rest on achievements. The challenges of today’s world are partly the same – hunger, conflicts, inequalities or human rights violations – and partly new – climate change, the digital revolution and the new geostrategic balances. To those challenges global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic are added, which show to what extent cooperation among states is as important today as it was 75 years ago.

With the 2030 Agenda, we have a shared blueprint for our efforts deployed at the national and international level. This framework also integrates aspects related to the rule of law and governance that are of fundamental importance for sustainable development and peace.

The world is changing. Our institutions must do the same. The UN is strong, if it is able to address the challenges of our time. All of its members must play their part. Switzerland is committed to the reforms initiated by the Secretary-General that make the organisation more efficient and effective.

As a host country, we are proud to host the United Nations European headquarters and we appreciate the work that International Geneva accomplishes each day for peace and prosperity in the world. We are committed to bringing together the brightest and best in Geneva to face future challenges linked to new technologies. We seek the best synergies between science and diplomacy for a sustainable and peaceful development of peoples and states. Switzerland has a lot to offer and is ready to do so also within the UN Security Council.


The rules-based international order is sometimes called into question; individuals and communities often give in to the desire to use force instead of reason. The multilateral order within the UN must take efficient measures collectively to prevent or remove any threats to peace and to quell every act of aggression or any other breach of peace. Switzerland is committed to international law. We need a United Nations system that is strong, well functioning and able to effectively tackle the challenges of our time. We cannot stress this enough: multilateralism is necessary.

Thank you.

Further information:

"Cooperation between states is as important today as it was 75 years ago."

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