Bern, 31.08.2022 - On 31 August 2022, the Federal Council was informed of the outcome of the consultations of the Foreign Affairs Committees on the thematic priorities for Switzerland's seat on the UN Security Council. These priorities have now been definitively adopted. On the Security Council, Switzerland intends to work in particular for a sustainable peace, for the protection of civilians, for greater effectiveness and for climate security.

On 25 May 2022, the Federal Council set Switzerland's priorities in the UN Security Council and presented them to the Foreign Affairs Committees (FAC) of the National Council and the Council of States. The FACs welcomed the submitted proposals, while expressing the wish that emphasis be placed on certain specific points, particularly with regard to food security, human rights and the rule of law. The four priorities take into account the close link between human rights and peace and security.

Following the consultations, the priorities for Switzerland's mandate on the Security Council in 2023 and 2024 were finally adopted. They are formulated as follows:

1. Building sustainable peace
Peacebuilding and conflict prevention are priorities of Swiss foreign policy. At the international level, Switzerland is appreciated as a credible and neutral mediator. Within the UN Security Council, Switzerland will work to ensure that this body fully plays its role in conflict prevention. In addition, Switzerland wishes to place particular emphasis on respect for human rights, the protection of minorities and the equal participation of women in crisis prevention and peace processes.

2. Protecting civilians
In accordance with its humanitarian tradition, Switzerland intends to work within the Security Council to better respect and strengthen international humanitarian law in conflicts. In this respect, greater attention will be paid to food security, human and minority rights, and the protection of refugees in conflict regions.

3. Enhancing effectiveness
It is in the interest of the international community and of Switzerland that the UN Security Council have the capacity to act efficiently and with solid grounds. For this reason, Switzerland has been working for almost 15 years to strengthen transparency, accountability and participation in the work of the Security Council with non-members. In addition, Switzerland will also work for the institutional consolidation of the Ombudsperson for UN sanctions. Better procedural guarantees will increase the effectiveness of the sanctions imposed by the Security Council and, consequently, their credibility.

4. Adressing climate security
There is a strong link between climate change and security. The effects of climate change also have an impact on our own security. Switzerland therefore intends to give this issue a higher profile on the Security Council agenda and to contribute its expertise to the discussions in this forum.

Preparations are underway for the Security Council mandate starting in January 2023
From October 2022, Switzerland will have observer status on the UN Security Council and will be able to attend all meetings, although without voting rights. The FDFA will use this opportunity to review and adjust the internal coordination and decision-making processes so that Switzerland is optimally prepared for its seat from 1 January 2023.

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