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 (12599)

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Swiss Peace Supporter 3/2017

The 2011 protest movements and uprisings triggered lengthy processes with uncertain outcomes in the countries of North Africa. What is left today of what was dubbed the 'Arab Spring'? What foreign policy should Switzerland pursue in this region? This SPS provides an overview of the transition in North Africa and explains how Switzerland promotes peaceful change in the region.



FDFA Action Plan for the Universal Abolition of the Death Penalty 2017-2019

The action plan demonstrates how Switzerland and its partners team up to play a leading role in efforts to abolish capital punishment worldwide. Switzerland categorically opposes the death penalty under all circumstances.






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.




Executive summary of the report on Effectiveness 2017: Swiss International Cooperation in the Field of Employment



Report on Effectiveness 2017: Swiss International Cooperation in the Field of Employment

The Report on Effectiveness 2017 presents the achieved results of the international cooperation of SDC and SECO in the field of employment between 2005-2014. Independent experts have assessed the effectiveness of more 72 projects and programs. The report also shows which factors have influenced the effectiveness. The SDC and SECO regularly produce reports on effectiveness in order to analyze the achieved results of their interventions in certain thematic fields.


Object 61 – 72 of 12599

Videos (110)

Object 61 – 72 of 110

Publisher SDC

Cooperation with Eastern Europe

Brief information on the cooperation with formerly communist countries (Film on the institution)




Publisher SDC

Swiss Humanitarian Aid – Sharing responsibility (de)

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.


Publisher SDC

Refugees need protection (de)

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.


Publisher SDC

Global challenges

Brief information on the global themes (Film on the institution)




Publisher SDC

Portrait of an SDC employee in Bern

Portrait of an SDC employee in Bern: François Münger (Film on the institution)


Publisher SDC

Upheavals in the Arab world (fr)

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.


Publisher SDC

Portrait of an SDC employee in Benin

Portrait of an SDC employee in Cotonou, Benin: Jean-Luc Virchaux (Film on the institution)


Publisher SDC

Portrait of an SDC employee in Sri Lanka

Portrait of an SDC employee in Colombo, Sri Lanka: Simone Schoenenberger (Film on the institution)

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