Switzerland joined the United Nations in 2002. Since then, we have been among its most active members. Even before being a member, we took on observer and member roles with various specialized UN agencies, such as the Human Rights Council, which, to a great extent, wascreated thanks to Swiss efforts. Former Swiss President Joseph Deiss also presided over the UN General Assembly from 2010 to 2011.

We are fully aligned with the UN’s goals and values. The Swiss Federal Constitution enshrines key UN objectives, including the alleviation of poverty, human rights and democracy, the peaceful co-existence of peoples and natural resource conservation. As a dedicated and reliable member of the UN family, we provide substantial voluntary contributions to support UN agencies, funds and programmes, promoting sustainable development around the world.

Geneva has been home to the UN’s second most important headquarters ever since the organisation was founded in 1945. The UN holds 6 out of 10 meetings in Geneva! No fewer than 41 international organisations and several UN agencies are located on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Switzerland is a reliable partner with an independent foreign policy. We say what we do and do what we say. As a member of the Security Council, we continue to stand up for peace, with no hidden agenda.

Switzerland has a long tradition as a neutral and independent state. We have had no colonial possessions and have never aligned ourselves militarily. The firm belief that respect for the rule of law and the realisation of human rights for all are the foundations for peaceful, prosperous and sustainable societies guides our foreign policy.

Openness and independence form the backbone of Swiss foreign policy. Dialogue, confidence building and consensus-seeking are in our country’s DNA. Switzerland’s experience and our engagement in the UN encourage us to lead by example. On the Security Council, we collaborate with and serve the interests of the wider membership.

Address by Ms. Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation