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 (12563)

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Report on the SDC's work against gender-baded violence

Addressing Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) is a topic in which SDC has amassed considerable experience over the last 15–20 years. This document brings together and analyses the knowledge generated over these years. Today SDC is supporting programmes directly addressing SGBV in 12 different countries, with a financial envelope of over CHF 10 million per annum.





Switzerland's Foreign Policy Action Plan on Preventing Violent Extremism

With this Foreign Policy Action Plan on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), Switzerland wants to contribute to counter-terrorism through preventative measures. Tackling direct and structural causes of violent extremism requires long-term, sustainable commitment in transitional and fragile contexts as well as in conflict zones.



Swiss Peace Supporter 1/2016

This edition is dedicated to the subject of prevention – in terms of health and security – for people working in peacebuilding missions. For these experts involved on the ground, both physical and mental factors are important to maintaining a healthy balance between work and free time, and to carrying out missions successfully. This edition also looks at the issue of gender within the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and the experience of the OAS in demobilising the different armed groups in Colombia.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution Annual Report 2015

The annual report contains an overview of concrete results and the status of project implementation. Over 500 doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from the new EU member states received scholarships in 2015 to do research in Switzerland. Bulgaria introduced legislation that provides for outpatient care based on the Swiss Spitex model, and Slovenia halved the heating and electricity bills of schools through energy efficiency renovations and renewable energies.



The Swiss contribution – Reports on the results of Swiss international cooperation 2013-16

For the first time the SDC and SECO report together on the results achieved by Swiss international cooperation. The folder contains the reports “The achievements of the «SDC and SECO takes stock». Their purpose is to inform on the results achieved within the framework of the 2013–2016 Dispatch to Parliament on International Cooperation. Available only in printed format.



Vocational skills development: key to employment and income

The brochure illustrates the SDC engagement in vocational education and training. First, the Swiss vocational education and training system is briefly explained. Second, examples of VET projects in Nepal, Albany, Niger, Bangladesh and Honduras are presented in order to illustrate how, where and which elements of the Swiss VET system are implemented in the partner countries.



Swiss Foreign Policy strategy 2016-19

The strategy sets out the Federal Council's priorities and areas of special interest in foreign policy. Its strategic objectives for the 2016-2019 legislative period include consolidating and regulating relations with the EU and the EU and EFTA countries, working more closely with global partners, expanding mediation activities in the field of peace and security, and pursuing the commitment to sustainable development and prosperity.



Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–2020: Key points in brief

The short version of the dispatch indicates the areas where the Federal Council has set its priorities in international cooperation for the period 2017–2020 – for a world without poverty, living in peace, and for sustainable development. The areas concerned are humanitarian aid, development cooperation, economic and trade policy measures in the context of development cooperation, transition cooperation in Eastern Europe, and the promotion of peace, human rights and security.



Evaluation Report on the Swiss Contribution 2015: Key points in brief

An independent evaluation has confirmed the federal authorities have achieved good results in implementing Switzerland’s enlargement contribution to the new EU member states. This report summarises the key findings of the evaluation and outlines the progress and achievements of the Swiss contribution.



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Videos (110)

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Publisher DEZA/SECO

The Swiss contribution in brief

Information on Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU: a brief presentation including project examples.










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