Public events organised by the Permanent Missions

Events (receptions, celebrations) 

Permanent missions are requested to inform the Swiss Mission when they are planning to hold public events (e.g. receptions, celebrations of anniversaries, official welcomes for prominent persons) that require special security and/or traffic regulation provisions. As far as possible, a diplomatic note should be sent three weeks before the event (for example at the time of sending the invitations). This note should specify:

  • the nature of the event,
  • the number of participants expected,
  • the presence of prominent persons,
  • any security measures that may be desired – although it should be understood that the police is the ultimate authority for such matters,
  • name and phone number of a person of contact.

In all cases, above-mentioned information must be transmitted to the Diplomatic Security Brigade of the Police of Geneva at least seven working days preceding the event, otherwise the necessary security measures will not be guaranteed by the competent authorities.

In the framework of such events, the police authorities will mark off an area in which invited guests may be dropped off and later picked up. As a rule, special parking spaces will not be provided.

Elections and votes

Missions accredited in Switzerland that wish to do so may permit their nationals in Switzerland to take part in elections and votes organised in the accredited State without requiring previous authorisation from the Swiss authorities. However they must inform the Swiss Mission in advance of forthcoming elections and, as long as possible, they should give three months notice. At the same time, they should inform the Swiss Mission of all relevant facts, particularly of the dates and locations of the planned votes, the number of voters expected, the difficulties of policing or of circulation expected and any security measures they require, although it should be understood that the police is the ultimate authority for such matters.

The votes may be held on the premises of the Mission or even in exceptional cases on other premises. However, the use of such other premises is subject to approval in advance by the Swiss Mission. In such cases, the Mission concerned should address a request specifying the premises and the address three months in advance. It should be stressed that premises other than those of the Mission will not enjoy any special status (diplomatic immunity) because of the votes being held there.

The provisions of Swiss law relating to political speeches by foreign nationals and to subversive propaganda will apply. Moreover, the Swiss authorities reserve the right to impose certain conditions for votes and elections, to prohibit them, and also, if necessary, to require reciprocity. Furthermore, they may at any time revoke or restrict the present liberalisation. 

Specialist Contact

Permanent Mission of Switzerland to UNOG
Office of Security and General Affairs
Rue de Varembé 9-11
P.O. Box 194
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. +41 (0)58 482 24 24
Fax +41 (0)58 482 24 37