Summit on Peace in Ukraine

On 15 and 16 June 2024, Switzerland organised a Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the Bürgenstock (Canton of Nidwalden). The aim of that heads of state and government meeting, was to develop a common understanding of a path towards a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. This should be the basis for a peace process.

An image of overlapping blue and yellow circles. Below this – supplemented by a Swiss cross – are the words "Summit on Peace in Ukraine" and the date "15-16 June 2024".
The logo of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine. © FDFA

News on the Summit on Peace in Ukraine

Following up on Ukraine’s request Switzerland has invited over 160 delegations from around the world to join for the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine on 15-16 June 2024 at the Bürgenstock resort.

The summit built on the discussions that have taken place in recent months, notably the Ukrainian peace formula and other peace proposals based on the UN Charter and key principles of international law. The overarching objective of the summit was to inspire a future peace process. To achieve this, the summit intended to:

  • Provide a platform for dialogue on ways towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine based on international law and the UN Charter;
  • Promote a common understanding of a possible framework to reach this goal;
  • Jointly define a roadmap on how to involve both parties in a future peace process.

The participation of a wide range of states and their contributions to the discussion was crucial to reach these goals. Switzerland has a long tradition of promoting dialogue. Thus, it considers the exchange of different views on the way to peace in Ukraine of vital importance.

List of participating states and organisations

The list of participating states and organisations of the Summit on Peace in Ukraine, as of 17 June, can be found under the following link:

List of participating states and organisations (as of 17 June 2024) (PDF, 4 Pages, 266.6 kB, English)

Images: Summit on Peace in Ukraine

Images of the event are available on Flickr. These images may only be used for editorial purposes.

Photos Flickr: Summit on Peace in Ukraine


How many states have been invited?

Switzerland invited over 160 delegations at head of state or government level. These include members of the G7, the G20, numerous other countries from all over the world as well as the EU, three international organisations (the UN, OSCE and Council of Europe) and two religious representatives (the Vatican and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople). The choice of invited states aimed to ensure the widest possible geographic representation of high-level representatives.  

How many states took part in the summit?

Some 100 delegations attended the summit, including 57 heads of state and government from all regions of the world. 

What led to Switzerland hosting the Summit on Peace in Ukraine?

During President Zelenskyy's visit to Bern on 15 January 2024, Switzerland and Ukraine discussed the next steps towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine. At Ukraine's request, Switzerland agreed to host a high-level summit on this topic.  Hosting such summits and meetings to promote peace talks is in keeping with Switzerland's tradition of good offices. 

What was the aim of this summit and what was discussed?

The aim of this summit was to initiate a peace process. The following elements contributed to this: the wide-ranging participation of high-level leaders sends a strong signal of support for pursuing a peaceful solution; 2) a stronger consensus emerged on topics that could potentially build trust, namely nuclear safety, food security and humanitarian issues; 3) the summit brought greater clarity on how to shape the next steps with Russia's involvement.  By hosting this summit, Switzerland created a forum for dialogue in which all participating countries could share their visions for achieving a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. Beyond this, Switzerland helped to build momentum for discussions towards peace in Ukraine as well as towards more security and stability in Europe and the world. 

Why were these specific topics chosen?

It was thought that these topics were suitable for building a foundation of trust between the parties to the conflict. They are mainly civilian issues that have an impact on the population as well as on the prospects for peace.

Furthermore, these topics are also highly relevant for countries that are geographically distant from Ukraine but are still directly affected by the war, particularly those in the Global South. The three sessions were therefore chaired by countries from different regions of the world, including from the Global South.

These sessions were very important. They dealt with issues such as preventing nuclear incidents and excessive food prices. Humanitarian concerns, including the treatment of prisoners of war and civilian detainees, were also addressed. Many countries have relevant experience in these areas, and they contributed it to the discussions. 

What was the outcome of these discussions?

The summit achieved its goal of initiating a wide-ranging dialogue on peace in Ukraine. The participants openly shared their stances, perspectives and proposals, marking an important first step towards identifying potential building blocks for a peace process. The joint communiqué represents a milestone in this regard. States that did not send representatives to this summit will still have the opportunity to endorse the joint communiqué.

Why did you choose the Bürgenstock resort?

The Bürgenstock resort was selected due to its geographical location, which offers optimal security conditions for such a complex event. The Bürgenstock is not located in an urban area and is nevertheless easily accessible.  

Does it make sense to discuss peace while the war in Ukraine continues to rage on?

This first Summit on Peace in Ukraine is not to be understood as a negotiating forum, but as a high-level conference that serves to create a jointly supported foundation for future negotiations. The path to a peace process is long and difficult, and success is not guaranteed. Achieving a lasting solution will ultimately require the involvement of both parties.  The summit injected momentum into this process.  

Which departments were involved in organising this summit, in addition to the FDFA?

An FDFA task force headed by Ambassador Gabriel Lüchinger and an interdepartmental steering group (FDFA, DDPS, FDJP and FDFA) under the direction of Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis were in charge of the preparations for the event. The task force also worked on security policy and logistical aspects, in close contact with the competent federal authorities and the Swiss Armed Forces, as well as with the Cantons of Nidwalden, Lucerne and Zurich. 

How much did it cost to host this summit?

A budget limit of CHF 10-15 million was established, with approximately two-thirds allocated for security measures. The exact costs will be announced. 

Were representatives of Swiss NGOs also invited?

No, NGOs were not invited to participate. The aim of this first summit was to hold talks on a possible peace process in Ukraine at the highest political level. However, it is clear that the private sector and civil society must also be involved as the peace process progresses.

Did Russia receive an official invitation?

Switzerland repeatedly signalled its openness to extending an invitation to Russia for the Summit on Peace in Ukraine. However, Russia indicated many times that it had no interest in participating. Therefore, no formal invitation was issued to Russia.

The aim of this summit in Switzerland was to initiate a peace process. Switzerland is convinced that Russia must be included in this process as it progresses. A peace process without Russia is inconceivable.

Indeed, the summit offered the opportunity to discuss for the first time at the highest level how and when Russia can be involved in this process. 

China did not participate in the summit. To what extent did the summit contribute to peace in Ukraine given that not only Russia but also China was not present?

In its statement before the summit, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it attached great importance to Switzerland's organisation of the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine. Switzerland and China shared the view that the Summit on Peace in Ukraine held at the Bürgenstock resort should facilitate a fair discussion of all peace plans in accordance with international law, that countries of the Global South should be included, and that Russia must also be integrated into the peace process. 

What does it mean for Swiss neutrality if Switzerland organises a peace summit that excludes Russia?

Switzerland is and will remain neutral and the organisation of this summit does not change that. The basis of Swiss neutrality is the law of neutrality, which is based on the Hague Conventions of 1907. This law of neutrality applies to the military sphere. But being neutral does not mean being indifferent. Outside the military sphere, the law of neutrality does not stand in the way of solidarity and support for Ukraine and its people. 

To what extent can the summit at the Bürgenstock resort be described as successful?

The Bürgenstock summit helped to crystallise a shared vision on the path ahead.  Specifically, the three issues addressed – nuclear safety, food security and humanitarian concerns – can now be developed in more concrete terms as part of this agreed roadmap.

In fact, the summit also offered the opportunity to discuss for the first time at the highest level how and when Russia can be involved in this process. As far as the Federal Council is concerned, the development of a lasting solution ultimately requires the participation of both sides.

By hosting this summit, Switzerland is facilitating a first step in a process aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. Switzerland is thus continuing its long tradition of promoting dialogue. 

At the end of the summit, a joint communiqué was adopted. What does this mean for the peace process?

The joint communiqué that the participating states agreed upon was put forward by Switzerland and finalised in consultation with all countries. It provides the foundation for initiating a peace process. This represents an important success for Switzerland, which set itself the goal of setting a peace process in motion. Switzerland is thus continuing its long tradition of promoting dialogue. 

What did the participating states agree on in the communiqué?

The states fundamentally affirm that the UN Charter, international law, and consequently the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, form the basis for the peace process. This was a key priority for Switzerland.

Furthermore, consensus was reached on a shared perspective regarding the topics discussed: Ukrainian nuclear power plants, such as Zaporizhzhia, must be secured and protected. They must also be under the sovereign control of Ukraine and the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Free and secure commercial shipping must be guaranteed. This point is especially important for countries in the Global South, as they rely on Ukrainian grain exports.

All prisoners of war must be exchanged. Moreover, all deported Ukrainian children and arbitrarily detained civilians must be returned to Ukraine.

The participating states that adopted the communiqué have committed to taking concrete steps in these areas.  Furthermore, other countries, including Russia, are to be involved in this process. States that did not attend the summit now also have the opportunity to endorse the communiqué. 

At present, there is no end in sight to the war. What else is Switzerland doing for Ukraine?

Since the war in Ukraine began on 24 February 2022, the Swiss Confederation has been assisting those impacted by the conflict through various means, including providing humanitarian aid, conducting humanitarian demining, providing financial support, and granting protection status S to individuals from Ukraine seeking refuge. By 15 February 2024, the federal government had spent a total of around CHF 3 billion on measures in Switzerland and abroad.

In the longer term, the Federal Council aims to allocate CHF 5 billion to support Ukraine's recovery efforts. CHF 1.5 billion of this will be financed from the international cooperation (IC) budget up to 2028. Concerning the remaining CHF 3.5 billion for the 2029–36 phase, the Federal Council is examining financing options beyond its international cooperation activities.

In 2022, Switzerland organised the first Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano and launched the political process to help Ukraine rebuild.

What security arrangements were made for the summit?

TThe Swiss Air Force ensured air policing and enhanced airspace surveillance. The use of airspace in central Switzerland was temporarily restricted during the summit, specifically from 13 June 2024 at 8am local time until 17 June 2024 at 8pm local time. 

The Federal Council also authorised the deployment of up to 4,000 military personnel to support the authorities of the canton of Nidwalden. The army provided subsidiary assistance to the cantonal government during the summit. The army assisted the cantonal police by providing security for key locations, conducting surveillance and reconnaissance operations, and offering logistical support. The army also provided the Canton of Nidwalden with material and vehicles. These measures complement the security arrangements of the cantonal authorities. See the press release of 22 May 2024  for more information. 

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Last update 25.06.2024


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