With its 193 member states the United Nations Organization (UN) is the only organization capable of providing a forum that allows all the nations and actors on the world stage to come together to discuss the many issues of worldwide importance that arise. The UN is universal in a sense unmatched by any other organization, both in terms of the subjects it deals with, its members, its involvement in decision-making processes, in creating international norms and standards and its unrivalled international presence. Despite certain shortcomings, it enjoys a unique legitimacy throughout the world.
74th UN General Assembly
This year’s priorities – human rights, UN reforms and science diplomacy – are in line with Switzerland’s two key strategic areas for its commitment to the UN for the period 2012-22: peace and security, and UN reform.
The range of challenges facing the world, notably security, peace, combating poverty, promoting human rights as well as safeguarding natural resources, make Switzerland’s involvement in the United Nations indispensable. Since joining the UN in September 2002, Switzerland has been an active and innovative member. Membership offers Switzerland the opportunity to participate in the search for solutions to global problems and to accept its share of responsibility for exerting a positive influence on world affairs. However, the UN also offers Switzerland the ideal forum within which to represent its own national interests.
The focus of Switzerland's activities at the UN is in three areas:
- Launching and supporting its own initiatives
- Strengthening the presence of Swiss nationals at all levels of the organization
- The day-to-day activities of Switzerland’s permanent missions to the UN (Geneva, New York, Vienna) and of Swiss delegates with the United Nations' special organizations and programmes (Rome, Paris, Nairobi)
Geneva is the main seat of the United Nations in Europe and, with New York, is one of the two major centres of multilateral cooperation. Despite Switzerland’s relatively small size, thanks to “International Geneva” the Confederation is able to “box above its weight” in the international arena, making it that much easier to achieve foreign policy objectives.
Tips and advice in pocket format
The Travel section tells you what you need to know when preparing for your journey and when you are in the host country. The A6 brochure tells you when the embassy and the consulate can help you and there is also a list of useful addresses.
Un seul monde 4/2019
SAHEL: Cette région, l'une des plus vulnérables du monde, doit relever de nombreux défis / MOZAMBIQUE: Une catastrophe chasse l'autre / MICROFINANCE: Est-ce un outil efficace pour lutter contre la pauvreté?
Swiss Health Foreign Policy 2019-2024
The Federal Council intends to take action in six key areas of international health policy, including sustainable healthcare, global health governance and protection against global health risks.
Swiss Guidelines on human rights defenders
Switzerland supports the work of human rights defenders and aims to improve their protection on the ground from arbitrary treatment, threats and violence. The FDFA's guidelines on the protection of human rights defenders serve as a framework for the Swiss representations abroad.
30 years of Swiss participation in election observations: Review and outlook
This anniversary publication places Switzerland's election observation operations in their historical context, explains the comprehensive approach behind election observation and electoral assistance from different perspectives, and sets out some of the new challenges we face in the digital age. The analysis and statistics are complemented by field reports from 30 years of election observation.
Swiss Peace Supporter 3/2019
This issue assesses the progress achieved and new challenges faced in implementing the anti-personnel mine ban convention. The 4th Review Conference, to be held in Oslo in November 2019, will provide an opportunity to renew the treaty's commitment to a mine-free world in response to some recent, worrying statistics. In addition, we look back on the 30th anniversary of Switzerland's participation in international election observation missions.
Die konsularischen Dienstleistungen des EDA: Jahresausgabe 2018
Die Welt der konsularischen Dienstleistungen in Zahlen (2018). Die jährlich aktualisierte Broschüre zeigt auf, welche Dienstleistungen das EDA in der Schweiz als auch im Aussennetz für die Schweizerbürgerinnen und Schweizerbürger erbringt.
Swiss Peace Supporter 2/2019
On 23 June 1999, the Federal Council made the decision to participate in the UN military peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. Since then, 620 women and 7,880 men have been involved in peacekeeping operations with the ‘Swiss Company’, abbreviated to SWISSCOY. This latest edition of ‘Swiss Peace Supporter’ tracks the progress of the peacekeeping mission. It also includes eye-witness reports of election monitoring in Ukraine and Nigeria.
Swiss Development Assistance: statistics 2017
This publication consists of six tables providing an overview of public development assistance (Swiss Confederation, cantons, communes) and private grants (NGOs) from Switzerland in 2017, by recipient country and by organization. It also includes a list of the main projects by country.
Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU: 2018 Annual Report
Information on the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes that are still under way, e.g. mine clearance in Croatia, the promotion of SMEs in Romania and decommissioned trams from Basel improving Bulgaria's public transport system. The report also briefly explains the background to the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member countries.
Checklist "Language studies and studies abroad"
The UN is reviewing how it operates to achieve the sustainable development goals
La Suisse soutient au Malawi et en Zambie un programme qui vise à rendre les paysans moins vulnérables au changement climatique et aux catastrophes naturelles.
Le changement climatique augmente les risques de catastrophes naturelles, qui déstabilisent souvent les finances publiques des pays concernés. La Suisse et la Banque mondiale ont lancé un programme qui vise à rendre les finances de ces pays plus résistantes aux catastrophes naturelles.
Un meilleur accès à l'eau d'irrigation permet d'en faire un usage plus rationnel et améliorer la production agricole. La Suisse soutient en Afrique de l'Ouest une initiative qui répond aux besoins des paysans.
Beans are a significant source of income for rural households and play an important role in combating malnutrition. The Pan-African Bean Research Alliance's program contributes to improved nutrition and health food security in 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
For smallholder farmers to be able to make a substantive contribution to food security, they must expand their production beyond their own needs to meet market demand. The film recounts the SDC’s efforts on behalf of smallholder farmers with regard to land rights, access to information and rural development.
The SDC and SECO regularly analyse the impact of their measures in selected thematic areas in the form of effectiveness reports. This English-language short film presents the range and scope of SDC/SECO development cooperation projects in the area of climate change during the period 2000–2012 and the results they achieved. The video complements the official report published in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Dans la région des Grands Lacs, la jeune génération vivant en zone rurale est forcée de chercher des alternatives au travail dans les fermes. Au Rwanda et au Burundi, la production de briques est une de ces activités accessoires.