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.
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he Helpline FDFA provides detailed information about the following FDFA services: Travel advice, sular protection, Living abroad, Other consular services.
Multilateral cooperation is an important element of Swiss development cooperation. Thanks to their long years of experience and considerable resources, multilateral organisations – such as international financial institutions, UN agencies and development banks – make an important contribution to solving problems affecting developing countries worldwide.
Here you will find addresses of the federal departments and offices.
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)