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 (12551)

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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.



Swiss Development Assistance: statistics 2015

This publication consists of six tables providing an overview of public development assistance (Swiss Confederation, cantons, communes) and private grants (NGOs) from Switzerland in 2015, by recipient country and by organization. It also includes a list of the main projects by country. The appendix contains a list of Swiss private organizations active in development cooperation.






Infrastructure projects in Poland

Thanks to the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme, 44,000 families now live in asbestos-free houses. Switzerland contributed CHF 115 million to support energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies in a total of ten projects. In addition, Switzerland funded measures to improve public transport.




Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2016

The report shows the results and the state of progress, e.g. in the dual vocational training programme in Slovakia, the fight against human trafficking in Bulgaria and Romania, the rehabilitation of a port in Latvia, and a venture capital fund in Hungary. In addition, it covers the national programmes which have come to a close in Estonia and Slovenia and presents the new programme in Croatia.


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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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