On Thursday in New York, Switzerland launched the final phase of its candidacy to the UN Security Council. The event, which took place in a mainly virtual format, aimed to inform the representatives of the 192 UN member states of the key strengths of the candidacy. Switzerland aspires to a non-permanent seat on the Security Council in 2023–24 and will carry out its candidacy under the slogan "A Plus For Peace". Unable to be physically present in New York owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga and the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Ignazio Cassis, participated online.
The UN General Assembly will elect the candidate countries to the Security Council for the 2023–24 term in June 2022. Switzerland officially submitted its candidacy in 2011. Switzerland is one of two countries – together with Malta – aspiring to obtain one of the seats assigned to the West European and Others Group on the Security Council.
In her speech, President Sommaruga underscored the strengths of the Swiss political system: "We seek consensual solutions in domestic politics as well as in our foreign policy. The only way to build consensus is through dialogue". For his part, Federal Councillor Cassis highlighted the positive contribution that Switzerland wishes to make to the Security Council: "We are well known as a reliable partner with a long tradition of promoting peace." He underlined Switzerland's commitment to the rule of law, the protection of civilians, peace and security.
In addition to Switzerland's engagement for peace embodied by the slogan "A Plus For Peace", Switzerland presented the other aspects of its candidacy – based on its Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23 – which were presented in an innovative way by performance artist Marco Tempest.
- Our commitment to international humanitarian law, humanitarian aid and human rights is summed up by "a plus for humanity"
- Our efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in "a plus for sustainable development"
- The importance of International Geneva in "a plus for multilateralism"
- Switzerland's role in the fields of innovation and digitalisation in "a plus for innovation".
The New York event, led by Pascale Baeriswyl, Switzerland's permanent representative to the UN in New York, also gave participants the opportunity to get to know Switzerland a little better through a performance by Swiss singer Eliane Amherd, who has lived in New York for many years. Finally, the guests and the staff of the Permanent Mission enjoyed a raclette together online.