We thank India for organizing this debate and the briefers for their contributions. We congratulate India on the successful conclusion of its term on the Council with this presidency. The participation of the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly underscores the importance of close collaboration between UN bodies.
“A world gone mad". The assessment shared by Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths in this chamber underlines the devastating number of 339 million people projected to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2023 – one in every 23 people worldwide. A world adrift, marked by record numbers of displaced people, famine, climate change, armed conflicts and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law on a daily basis. This is reflected in many contexts on the Council's agenda.
This grim record calls for common, sustainable responses, rooted in international law and inspired by the values and principles of this organization. Effective multilateralism must translate into tangible results - the protection of civilians is one of the highest priorities. As our President emphasized before the General Assembly: “The United Nations offers a unique framework for joining forces to maintain international peace and security, as partners, not adversaries.”
Responses to complex challenges can only be collective. They require a focused strengthening of multilateralism and a strong and effective UN.
I would like to highlight three aspects:
First, Switzerland joins the calls for reform to make the Security Council more representative, accountable and effective. We are engaged together with our partners in the ACT group to strengthen the Council's working methods. Advocacy for a more responsible and restrictive use of the veto is an integral part of this. The veto must not prevent the Council from fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians, prevent conflict and to ensure accountability for atrocities committed. We call on all states to adhere to the code of conduct developed by ACT that seeks to achieve this goal. General Assembly resolution 76/262 promotes complementarity among UN organs if the Council is blocked by a veto. It remains equally important for the Council to seek consensus in order to speak with one voice.
Second, effective multilateralism must take into account the diversity of actors and promote inclusive approaches, while avoiding duplication. The density and diversity of organizations makes Geneva – second headquarter and operational engine of the UN – a place for innovation and anticipation that is open and responsive to Member States, NGOs, the private sector, data science and science diplomacy. To respond to global challenges, we can further leverage this center of global governance and "Geneva-style multilateralism".
Third, we will remain committed to the implementation of "Our Common Agenda". We welcome the New Agenda for Peace that the Secretary-General has outlined in broad terms. We commend the proposals to strengthen conflict prevention and foresight, reduce strategic risks and respond to new threats to peace. In this context, let us continue to put science, research and technology at the service of peace.
In the Security Council, Switzerland will work for resolute multilateral action and respect for international law. It will be a partner at the service of all Member States. In conclusion, I would like to thank the outgoing members of the Council, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway for their contributions to international peace and security.