UN

Image of the flags of the United Nations member states flying in front of the Palais des Nations in Geneva in 2014
In front of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, home to the United Nations, the flags of the 193 member states line the "Allée des drapeaux". © UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

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

Flags of the UN member states in front of the UN Headquarters in New York.
End of September the 74th General Assembly begins in New York. © Keystone

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.

Dossier

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.

Documents (12757)

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Swiss Peace Supporter 4/2019

This latest edition focuses on recruiting experts for field operations. Police deployments on peacebuilding missions are the subject of one article, illustrated by Switzerland's engagement in Mali. A further article looks at mediation within the OSCE. Another recounts a day in the life of a young UN volunteer in Mexico.







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.



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.


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Videos (110)

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Publisher SDC

Competence Centre for Reconstruction in Haiti (fr)

The violent earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 caused devastating damage. The emergency aid released immediately by the Swiss government boosted existing resources, which should be consolidated and continue in the future.


Publisher SDC

UNICEF in Haiti (fr)

The violent earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 caused devastating damage. The emergency aid released immediately by the Swiss government boosted existing resources, which should be consolidated and continue in the future.


Publisher SDC

Waste Water – A 21st Century Challenge

San José Las Flores – a community in El Salvador takes action. The tragic loss of 37 children due to a cholera epidemic prompted the community of San José Las Flores to take action and tackle the sewage problem in their village. Thanks to its own initiative, and with support from SDC, San José Las Flores became one of the first villages not only in El Salvador but also in Central America to implement an innovative, sustainable and environmentally sound solution to the disposal and treatment of its domestic wastewater. In doing so, the village has pointed the way in how to improve health and quality of life of its residents.


Publisher SDC

50 years SDC

This video portrays the history of the SDC as it evolves from the Service for Technical Cooperation into the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Inspired by the jubilee motto «50 Years SDC – More than Aid», the video not only looks back at past achievements, but also casts a glance at the future.


Publisher SDC

Southern Africa: supporting children suffering from trauma (de)

The triple crisis of HIV and AIDS, poverty, and conflict is felt by millions of children and families in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2002, the SDC set up the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI), creating a network of 13 countries in East and Southern Africa, in cooperation with the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The objective of this program is to provide millions of children with psychosocial support.


Publisher SDC

Micro-insurance: reducing the risks in rural areas (fr)

In the region of Tajra in Bolivia, grape vines stretch as far as the eye can see. Yet, every year, many small producers take on large debts to finance their future harvest. Unfortunately, the fruits of their labour are regularly endangered by hail, at times almost to the point of total destruction.


Publisher SDC

Water supply (Haiti)

The violent earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 caused devastating damage. The emergency aid released immediately by the Swiss government boosted existing resources, which should be consolidated and continue in the future.


Publisher SDC

Health care (Haiti)

The violent earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 caused devastating damage. The emergency aid released immediately by the Swiss government boosted existing resources, which should be consolidated and continue in the future.


Publisher SDC

Housing (Haiti)

The violent earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 caused devastating damage. The emergency aid released immediately by the Swiss government boosted existing resources, which should be consolidated and continue in the future.




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