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.
Improvement of border security in Poland
A number of projects contribute to securing the 1,200 km border dividing the Schengen area from Belarus and Ukraine.
Biodiversity in Poland
Promotion of biodiversity and nature conservation in Poland.
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.
Regional development in Poland
The economic situation in structurally weak regions has been improved through promoting tourism and marketing regional products.
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.
25 years of SDC in Vietnam
The World Bank increases support for the poorest countries
Global programme health: A step towards health for all
Un seul monde 1/2017
Genre: Les écarts perdurent, Pas de développement durable sans égalité / Le Nepal face à l'exode de la main-d'oeuvre: Un important facteur économique, mais des risques pour les travailleurs / Agenda 2030: La Suisse évalue les actions nécessaires
Guidebook “Contracts for employment abroad”
Swiss Peace Supporter 1/2017
This edition explores the frequently underestimated but crucial topic of ‘equipment and logistics in Switzerland’s peacebuilding activities’. A glimpse behind the scenes shows how important logistics are in both civilian and military missions and how challenges are met.
Politorbis Nr. 64: In Support of Federalism Debates
This magazine on Swiss foreign policy publishes articles written by experts. It appears several times a year. The articles are published usually in the language in which they were written. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the FDFA.
The ICRC is committed to responding rapidly and efficiently to the humanitarian needs of people affected by armed conflict or by a natural disaster occurring in a conflict area. Hostilities can explode without warning; natural disasters can strike unexpectedly and their effects may be multiplied in countries already riven by war. In the face of such unpredictable emergencies, the ICRC attaches great importance to its ability to deploy rapidly in the field.
With the enlargement contribution, Switzerland helps to reduce economic and social disparities within the enlarged European Union.
For the first time, the Message on Switzerland’s International Cooperation describes in one document the tasks of humanitarian aid, development cooperation, economic and trade policy measures within the framework of development cooperation, and cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe.
The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
The State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) is responsible for the coordination and strategic management of international financial, monetary and tax matters.
The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides leadership in promoting and coordinating implementation of the sustainable development agenda of the United Nations.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response.
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)