Switzerland thanks the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom for their efforts to achieve a text acceptable to all.
Switzerland recognises that hate speech, discrimination, intolerance and violent extremism are relevant aspects in the context of conflicts and their prevention. In a spirit of compromise and consensus, we therefore voted in favour of the resolution. Nevertheless, we would like to make the following points to clarify our position:
Switzerland condemns all forms of discrimination, intolerance and incitement to hatred or violence. At the same time, Switzerland attaches the utmost importance to respect for international human rights law, including freedom of expression, both online and offline. Freedom of expression - a priority of Switzerland's foreign policy on human rights - is the cornerstone of any pluralistic and inclusive society. We firmly defend the position that States must guarantee that all voices, even the most critical ones, can be expressed in their societies. However, freedom of expression in no way authorises discriminatory or racist comments that undermine human dignity.
The text's approach to "extremism" was the subject of intense discussion and was of particular importance to Switzerland. We reiterate our concern that the term "extremism" without the word "violent" leaves room for a broad interpretation that could be used arbitrarily against individuals and groups exercising their freedom of expression and opinion. This is why Switzerland has ensured that the term is sufficiently contextualised and that human rights are anchored in the text. We would also like to stress that the word "extremism" should be used to describe actions and not ideas.
In this respect, we regret that this resolution does not include stronger references to human rights, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Furthermore, throughout the negotiations, Switzerland worked to ensure that all references to women's rights, gender equality and the "Women, Peace and Security" agenda reflected the highest and most recent standards established by Security Council resolutions. We deplore the fact that certain proposals have not been retained and call for the progress made in recent years on the international legal framework and the agreed language on women's rights and gender equality not to be called into question.
Finally, we reiterate the importance of tackling discrimination in all its forms. We call on all States to respect the obligation of non-discrimination and to strengthen their commitment to creating a society in which all are free and equal before the law and in which no one is left behind, including those affected by intersecting or multiple forms of discrimination.
In our view, it is clear that it is in this spirit of compliance with international law, in particular international human rights law, that this resolution will be interpreted and implemented.