Good offices

A car with a Swiss flag as a symbol for the go-between role of Switzerland as a protecting power.
As a protecting power, Switzerland assumes a go-between role © Keystone

Switzerland's good offices are a long-standing tradition and play a key role in Swiss peace policy. Switzerland can build bridges where others are prevented from doing so, because it does not belong to any power bloc and does not pursue a hidden agenda.

Switzerland supports conflicting parties in their search for a negotiated solution, either acting as mediator directly or supporting negotiations and the mediation of other states or international and regional organisations. As a protecting power, it safeguards the interests of foreign states.

In international law and international relations, the term 'good offices' under the UN Charter refers to all diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives by a third country or a neutral institution whose purpose is to resolve a bilateral or international conflict or to bring the parties to the negotiating table.