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.
Tips and advice in pocket format
The Travel section tells you what you need to know when preparing for your journey and when you are in the host country. The A6 brochure tells you when the embassy and the consulate can help you and there is also a list of useful addresses.
Swiss Health Foreign Policy 2019-2024
The Federal Council intends to take action in six key areas of international health policy, including sustainable healthcare, global health governance and protection against global health risks.
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.
30 years of Swiss participation in election observations: Review and outlook
This anniversary publication places Switzerland's election observation operations in their historical context, explains the comprehensive approach behind election observation and electoral assistance from different perspectives, and sets out some of the new challenges we face in the digital age. The analysis and statistics are complemented by field reports from 30 years of election observation.
Swiss Peace Supporter 3/2019
This issue assesses the progress achieved and new challenges faced in implementing the anti-personnel mine ban convention. The 4th Review Conference, to be held in Oslo in November 2019, will provide an opportunity to renew the treaty's commitment to a mine-free world in response to some recent, worrying statistics. In addition, we look back on the 30th anniversary of Switzerland's participation in international election observation missions.
Swiss Peace Supporter 2/2019
On 23 June 1999, the Federal Council made the decision to participate in the UN military peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. Since then, 620 women and 7,880 men have been involved in peacekeeping operations with the ‘Swiss Company’, abbreviated to SWISSCOY. This latest edition of ‘Swiss Peace Supporter’ tracks the progress of the peacekeeping mission. It also includes eye-witness reports of election monitoring in Ukraine and Nigeria.
Swiss Development Assistance: statistics 2017
This publication consists of six tables providing an overview of public development assistance (Swiss Confederation, cantons, communes) and private grants (NGOs) from Switzerland in 2017, by recipient country and by organization. It also includes a list of the main projects by country.
Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU: 2018 Annual Report
Information on the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes that are still under way, e.g. mine clearance in Croatia, the promotion of SMEs in Romania and decommissioned trams from Basel improving Bulgaria's public transport system. The report also briefly explains the background to the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member countries.
Checklist "Language studies and studies abroad"
The UN is reviewing how it operates to achieve the sustainable development goals
Swiss Peace Supporter 1/2019
Switzerland's successful history of international peace support operations began 30 years ago with a contingent dispatched to the United Nations mission in Namibia. This edition of Swiss Peace Supporter looks back on the contributions made by Switzerland to peace support operations since 1989. A captivating account by Adolf Ogi and reports from the field will give you an insight into Switzerland's engagement in the UN.
Flyer: Schweizer/innen im UK nach dem BREXIT
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)