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Paul Seger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN

Dear Visitor,

Dag Hammarskjold, the former UN Secretary-General, said: “The U.N. is not just a product of do-gooders. It is harshly real. The day will come when men will see the U.N. and what it means clearly. Everything will be all right - you know when? When people, just people, stop thinking of the United Nations as a weird Picasso abstraction, and see it as a drawing they made themselves.”

I like this quote. It fits well with the ambition of our team to contribute through the United Nations to a peaceful, safe and just world where we can live with dignity and with respect for our environment. This may seem like a lofty goal. But we believe that we can make a practical difference, small as it may be. This is what motivates us.

Switzerland is no military or political power player. So, a strong United Nations is in our interest. The U.N. is the only institution in the world where every State is represented equally. It offers a unique forum where issues of every kind are discussed and disputes settled. At times, the process may be slow and tedious. But even shouting at each other is better than shooting at each other.

Since we joined the United Nations in 2002, Switzerland has invested a lot into being an active and supportive member. Swiss are factual-minded and consensus-oriented. We try to build bridges and help out as an honest broker. And we promote the values Switzerland has long stood for, such as humanitarian law, democracy and human rights.

These are our priorities at the U.N. Moreover, we strive to make the Organization more democratic, more transparent and more efficient in the important operational tasks that the United Nations System undertakes. These webpages explain how we carry out our mission.

With my best wishes,

Paul Seger

Permanent Representative

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