Federal Council approves report on Switzerland's candidature for non-permanent seat on UN Security Council
Bern, 05.06.2015 - The Federal Council approved today the report on Switzerland's candidature for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2023-2024 term and submitted it to Parliament. The report underlines that a seat on the UN Security Council would provide Switzerland with exceptional new opportunities to pursue the principles of its own sovereign foreign policy, in particular in the areas of peace and security.
On 12 January 2011 the Federal Council decided to submit its candidature for a mandate as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2023-2024 term. In 2013 the National Council instructed the Federal Council to draw up a report taking into consideration the question of neutrality in particular and to submit it to Parliament. The Federal Council approved this report today and submitted it to Parliament.
The report states that a seat on the Security Council would provide Switzerland with exceptional new opportunities. In particular, on the basis of its own sovereign foreign policy, Switzerland would be able to make a greater contribution to peace, security and the establishment of a just international order, to advance its own interests and values, build bridges and meet its responsibilities by its own means. Switzerland's experience as chair of the OSCE showed that such a commitment could serve to further enhance the credibility of its own foreign policy and to demonstrate the competence and reliability of its diplomacy.
The report also suggests that a seat on the Security Council would offer Switzerland better access to key states and enable it to expand its international network. Switzerland would be in a position to introduce its foreign policy and security concerns into the work of the UN more directly than before. Furthermore, the areas in which the Security Council is active largely coincide with the main priorities of Switzerland's foreign and security policies.
After a careful analysis, the Federal Council's report concludes that Switzerland's ability to fully pursue its policy of neutrality would remain unchanged. Neutrality is not an end in itself, but an instrument of Switzerland's foreign and security policies. The UN's global security system, which is based on the prohibition on the use of force, pursues the same objectives, namely the promotion of peace and security. According to the report, the experience of other neutral states confirms that neutrality is compatible with the holding of a seat on the Security Council. Membership on the Security Council would offer Switzerland an additional platform for demonstrating its traditional and proven skills as an impartial bridge builder and for putting them to good use on behalf of the international community.
Lastly, the report submits that Switzerland would retain the same freedom of action as before and would remain fully sovereign in determining its foreign policy positions. Membership on the Security Council would not entail any extension of Switzerland's current obligations.
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