I would like to thank you for this debate on a topic of great importance for the promotion of peace and human rights. It is relevant to hold this debate at the ECOSOC because this body has a key role to play in this regard.
Atrocities are usually not single or random events, but result from a progressive escalation of violence. They can occur in all societies if the root causes of conflicts are not recognised and addressed in time.
Prevention of atrocities must be subject to an ongoing commitment to building the resilience of society. Respect for human rights and the achievement of Sustainable Development goals are essential for upstream prevention. Switzerland is therefore committed to promoting good governance, strengthening civil society and fighting inequalities. As past atrocities often leave profound marks in a society, Switzerland also supports transitional justice measures in order to prevent their recurrence.
The operational activities of the UN development system must take risk indicators into account in their strategic planning. The work of the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect can - and must - support these efforts.
Switzerland is convinced that atrocity prevention must be adapted to the local context. It is therefore important that prevention mechanisms be inclusive and anchored at the national level. Switzerland is working to ensure that States put in place national strategies, mechanisms and structures aimed at identifying risks. The aim is to act in a timely manner to prevent war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing.
One of Switzerland's initiatives in this area is the creation of the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes, GAAMAC. This network provides a platform for dialogue and the exchange of lessons learned and best practices between States and civil society. Switzerland invites other States to join in order to strengthen the atrocity prevention community.
Furthermore, prevention must be supported by an effective multilateral system. Multilateral commitment to atrocity prevention is as relevant in New York as it is in Geneva. Working together in a complementary approach through the UN pillars is thus the way forward.
Finally, Switzerland has supported the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect as well as its Special Advisers in New York and Geneva for several years. Switzerland encourages the two Special Advisers to share their recommendations on crisis situations so that the UN and its various entities can act in a timely manner.