The Swiss policy of arms control and disarmament pursues the objective of preserving national and international security while minimizing the level of arms held throughout the world. Switzerland consistently supports non-proliferation and disarmament at international level, particularly where weapons of mass destruction are concerned.
Swiss security policy pursues the reinforcement of mutual trust among states. To this end Switzerland supports verifiable arms-control and disarmament mechanisms that do not discriminate against individual states or other entities. Switzerland considers it a fundamental principle that binding, universal agreements under international law take precedence over unilateral measures and arrangements that are only binding in political terms. Switzerland has signed and ratified all the multilateral disarmament agreements that are open to it.
Switzerland plays an active part in the work of multilateral bodies working for arms control and disarmament:
- First Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations
- Geneva Disarmament Conference (Switzerland has been a member since 1996)
- UN Disarmament Commission
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
- Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- Nuclear Suppliers Group
- Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
- Australia Group
- Rocket Technology Control Regime
- Wassenaar Agreement
- Confidence and security building measures of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Switzerland pursues a restrictive policy on arms exports and participates in the UN Arms Register, which is designed to facilitate transparency.
The Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA) also implements international disarmament projects itself. One example is its contribution to the destruction of chemical weapons in Russia as part of the G8 Global Partnership against the spread of weapons of mass destruction.