76th UN General Assembly

Monday, 20.09.2021 – Friday, 24.09.2021

Man-sized lettering elements Hashtag UNGA stand in front of the New York skyline.
The 76th UN General Assembly high-level week takes place in New York between 20 and 24 September 2021. © Kim Haughton / United Nations Photo

President of the Confederation Guy Parmelin and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the FDFA represent Switzerland at the high-level opening of the UN General Assembly at the end of September in New York. 

Switzerland continues to work on all UN-related themes so as to ensure that Swiss interests remain safeguarded. These topics include in particular the commitment to international law and specifically human rights as well as international humanitarian law, humanitarian affairs and sustainability and disarmament issues. Switzerland also continues to play an active role in the ongoing UN reform process and in safeguarding the interests of International Geneva.

President of the Swiss Confederation Guy Parmelin and Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis set priorities in New York for sustainability and political resolution of conflicts, Press release EAER/FDFA, 23 September 2021

Switzerland's priorities

Switzerland pursues the following three priorities during the 76th UN General Assembly:

  • Promoting Switzerland's candidacy and preparing for a seat on the UN Security Council
  •  Sustainable development and dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Promoting a free, open and secure digital space

Switzerland's priorities for the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (PDF, 348.9 kB, English)


Federal Council outlines priorities for UN General Assembly 76th session, FDFA Press release, 17.09.2021

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22 September 2021 – Yemen: Switzerland strengthens humanitarian efforts

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde co-chairing high-level conference on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde co-chairing high-level conference on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. © FDFA

In the margins of the general debate, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis co-chaired a high-level conference on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen with Sweden and the European Union, bringing together all relevant actors.

Switzerland strengthens its humanitarian commitment in Yemen and co-hosts a high-level event, FDFA press release, 22 September 2021

Address by Federal Councillor Cassis at the UN general debate high-level side-event on Yemen, 22 September 2021

21 September 2021 – President of the Confederation addresses UN

© Keystone

President Parmelin presents the UN priorities of Swiss foreign policy to the UN General Assembly. He also participates – on site or virtually – in various UN General Assembly events, including the Food System Summit. In the margins of the UN General Assembly, the President of the Confederation also meets with a number of heads of state and government.

Speech by President Guy Parmelin to the UN General Assembly, EAER speech, 21 September 2021 (PDF, 722.5 kB, multilingual: English, French)

Tasting the Transformation of Food Systems, Joint Press Statement by Costa Rica, Senegal and Switzerland, 22 September 2021

President Guy Parmelin at the UN General Assembly in New York, EAER website

18-22 September 2021 – Bilateral meetings and events

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis uses the opportunity of his stay in New York to take part in several events and to exchange bilateral views with numerous counterparts on the fringes of the UN General Assembly.

18 September 2021 – Saype: Ephemeral art for lasting peace

In the presence of artist Saype (tusking on the right), Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis (standing in the middle) presents UN Secretary-General António Guterres (standing on the left), a picture of the huge fresco showing two children drawing their world of tomorrow.
In the presence of Saype (right), Federal Councillor Cassis (centre) presents UN Secretary-General (left), a picture of the huge fresco showing two children drawing their world of tomorrow. © Keystone

Franco-Swiss artist Saype, creates giant paintings out of grass and sand to call for world peace. Saype's eco-friendly grass paintings, like the one currently at the United Nations in New York, pop up and perish around the world in the space of a few days. The latest painting, which Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis presented to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, stands for the joint effort to create a future for everyone.