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.
Swiss Cooperation Strategy South Caucasus 2017–2020
Swiss Cooperation Strategy Macedonia 2017-2020
Un seul monde 3/2017
La guerre de l'eau: L'or bleu, une source de conflits à travers le monde / Un pays figé: En Bosnie et Herzégovine, les jeunes souffrent d'un manque de perspectives / Révolution 4.0: Une chance pour les pays défavorisés?
FDFA Strategy on Gender equality and Women’s rights
The strategy sets out the principles of action and the key objectives of Swiss foreign policy regarding gender equality and women's rights. It outlines the basic principles of the commitment to make a genuine, tangible contribution to an inclusive and equitable society, creating greater prosperity for the benefit of all.
Flyer: Agenda 2030 - Switzerland and the Sustainable Development Goals
The flyer provides information on the content of the 2030 Agenda – with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals – adopted by the UN member states in 2015. It also provides an overview of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by Switzerland, cooperation with non-governmental and sub-national stakeholders and reporting to the UN.
25-year membership in the World Bank and IMF
Prevention rather than punishment: a life free of violence for the women of Bolivia
Water and sanitation: how to replicate a successful model
La Coopération transfrontalière en Afrique de l'Ouest
Un seul monde 2/2017
Energie: Le manque d'électricité freine la lutte contre la pauvreté / Palestine: Ramallah à la conquête du cybermonde / Libre-échange: Une chance ou une menace pour les pays en développement?
Swiss Peace Supporter 2/2017
In view of the armed conflicts facing the world today, the international community is being challenged more than ever before. This edition, entitled ‘International humanitarian law places limits on the conduct of war’, examines the internationally binding rules of warfare and demonstrates how this can be used to protect civilians in the Middle East and Ukraine, and to help child soldiers in the Philippines.
The international combat against the illicit trade in and misuse of small arms and light weapons: Switzerland’s strategy 2017-2020
The strategy shows where Switzerland sets its priorities in the international combat against the illicit trade in and misuse of small arms and light weapons for 2017-2020. The strategy forms an integral part of the Confederation’s humanitarian and peacebuilding commitment, as well as its efforts in respect of development policy, human rights policy and security policy.
Brief information on the cooperation with formerly communist countries (Film on the institution)
The challenges facing humanitarian aid globally are demanding and complex. Good cooperation and coordination by all actors on behalf of afflicted people in crisis and disaster areas is becoming increasingly important. This is why Swiss Humanitarian Aid has chosen Sharing Responsibility as the motto for this year's annual conference.
As a result of the conflict in Somalia, hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to Kenya over the last 20 years. In the summer of 2011, up to 1500 persons arrived in Kenya every day because of the drought.
Brief information on the global themes (Film on the institution)
The Youth Employment Project (YEP) focuses on the better integration of young women and men, particularly from disadvantaged population groups, into the labour market.
Portrait of an SDC employee in Bern: François Münger (Film on the institution)
This film depicts the activities conducted by Switzerland via the SDC in the impoverished governorate of Kasserine in Tunisia. It shows how a young businessman was able to obtain a credit thanks to the Swiss programme I-SEMER which strives for a better balanced regional development by supporting entrepreneurial activities. It also documents the operation carried out by Switzerland in the domain of water both by providing adequate infrastructure and by conducting awareness-raising campaigns concerning this precious resource.
Portrait of an SDC employee in Cotonou, Benin: Jean-Luc Virchaux (Film on the institution)
Portrait of an SDC employee in Colombo, Sri Lanka: Simone Schoenenberger (Film on the institution)