75 years of the United Nations: Switzerland gifts Geneva an artwork by Saype and presents its slogan for Security Council candidacy: ‘A PLUS FOR PEACE’

Bern, 26.06.2020 - ‘A PLUS FOR PEACE’ is Switzerland’s slogan for its candidacy for a seat on the Security Council in 2023-24. This was announced today by Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, on the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. To mark the anniversary, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, accompanied by the Director-General of UN Geneva, Tatiana Valovaya, presented a biodegradeable fresco by the artist Saype in the park of the Palais des Nations.

The slogan will be ‘A PLUS FOR PEACE’, encapsulating what Switzerland will bring to the Security Council. “We want to make available to the United Nations and the Security Council our long-standing experience in good offices and our ability to compromise, which is in the Swiss DNA”, said Federal Councillor Cassis, convinced that a seat on the Security Council will allow Switzerland to defend its interests and help to achieve its foreign policy goals.  The candidacy slogan was chosen from hundreds of suggestions sent by FDFA staff members.

A desire to promote Switzerland’s interests and values underlies the decision, made by the Federal Council in 2011, to apply for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the years 2023-24. Following the election last week of Switzerland’s immediate predecessors in its voting group, the candidacy is now entering its final phase.

‘World in Progress’
The United Nations Organisation was founded exactly 75 years ago in San Francisco where, after two months of discussions, representatives from 50 countries signed the Charter.

“This is a document based on the values of peace and security, which are Switzerland’s values” said Federal Councillor Cassis, who wanted to commemorate the anniversary with a creation by Saype, a French artist living in the Swiss town of Bulle known for his monumental, ephemeral artworks. ‘World in Progress’ is a fresco covering 6000 m² and created using biodegradable paint made mainly of chalk and charcoal. It refers to a collective construction of the future.

75th anniversary of the United Nations

The construction of a common future is also the topic the United Nations has chosen, as part of its 75th anniversary, for a global conversation entitled ‘The future we want, the UN we need’. This dialogue touches on the transformations the organisation has carried out to adjust to a world that is changing at a pace unprecedented in the history of humankind. The UN has had to undertake a series of adjustments throughout its 75 years of existence and can boast some major achievements such as leading the decolonisation process, bringing peace to several countries, and launching the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

“Switzerland supports the ongoing reforms for a UN fit for the 21st century” said Ignazio Cassis.  The federal councillor wished to point out that a strong and efficient United Nations are in the interest of Switzerland, which depends on a world order based on the rule of law and not on the law of the strongest.

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