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.
Swiss Peace Supporter 3/2018
“Capacity development – turning knowledge into practice” is a multifaceted concept and a key component of international cooperation. How can people be empowered to act? How can police capacities be strengthened in crisis-stricken countries such as Mali? What role do international organisations play in this? Apart from the focus topic, the 03/18 edition also includes articles from Ukraine and Colombia.
FDFA Action Plan against Torture
The fight against torture and ill-treatment has long been a Swiss foreign policy priority. The action plan maps out how Switzerland intends to uphold the absolute and universal ban on torture and ill-treatment, as well as the steps it will take to ensure its effective implementation.
Le nexus, ou comment conjuguer humanitaire et développement
Blue Peace: An ideal turns into an international movement
Un seul monde 3/2018
Mékong : La croissance économique de l'Asie du Sud-Est ne profite pas à tous / Kosovo : Les rapports difficiles avec la minorité serbe / Des frontières floues : L'aide humanitaire et la coopération au développement constituent deux domaines distincts, mais vont de pair selon les ONG
Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda in Swiss International Cooperation
The Implementation Concept addresses all state and non-state actors associated with Swiss international cooperation.
Guide “Returning to Switzerland Swiss citizens living abroad”
The relation between international law and national law in Switzerland
By looking at examples, the brochure explains the interaction between international law and Swiss law. Where and when does which law apply and how does one influence the other?
Swiss Peace Supporter 2/2018
The latest edition of SPS focuses on 'Kosovo, a country in transition', with articles on SWISSCOY's move from a field camp in Prizren to Camp Novo Selo, dealing with the past and this young state's long path to democratization. In addition to the focus theme, this edition also includes current reports from Colombia, Western Sahara and the Central African Republic.
Report on Effectiveness: Swiss international cooperation in the field of gender equality 2007-2016
Gender equality is essential to achieving sustainable development. The study, which was carried out by a team of external experts, comprises an assessment of three distinct project and programme portfolios during the period from 2007 to 2016 that reflect our approach to implementing the FDFA’s gender equality policy.
Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2017
The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 have completed their projects under the enlargement contribu-tion. SECO and the SDC have taken stock of the last decade and published the results in their 2017 annual report. The projects have made a significant contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in Europe. Switzerland was also able to use its expertise to make a meaningful contribution to a number of projects.
Swiss International Cooperation – Annual Report 2017
From vocational education and training to sustainable tourism to the use of satellite-based measuring instruments to calculate the extent of crop losses: Swiss international cooperation was also effective in 2017. The SDC and SECO annual report, which is now published only in electronic format, provides detailed information.
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)