Federal Council presents priorities for serving on the UN Security Council to the Foreign Affairs Committees

Bern, 25.05.2022 - Switzerland is a candidate for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2023–24 period, with the election taking place on 9 June. On 25 May 2022, the Federal Council discussed the priorities for Switzerland's two-year term, which will now be presented to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committees (FACs) for consultation.

Following today's decision, the Federal Council is putting forward to the FACs four thematic priorities that will guide Switzerland's work during its prospective two-year term. The priorities will be adopted permanently this autumn at the end of the FAC consultation process.

Four priorities proposed by the Federal Council:

-    Building sustainable peace: Switzerland has extensive experience and a successful track record in peacebuilding and conflict prevention, and is a globally recognised as a credible actor.

-    Protecting civilians: Switzerland is recognised for its long-standing humanitarian tradition and commitment to international humanitarian law. Protecting civilians is crucial in the many conflict situations on the Security Council's agenda, including in Ukraine.

-    Addressing climate security: climate change acts as a 'threat multiplier' with the potential to disrupt security and stability in many countries. Switzerland can also bring significant expertise in climate security issues to the Security Council.

-    Enhancing effectiveness: for many years, Switzerland has been calling for greater transparency, accountability and the inclusion of non-members in the work of the Security Council, and intends to move these reform efforts forward.

Switzerland's proposed priorities for serving on the UN Security Council are also important in view of the current international situation, including Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. Switzerland would strive to ensure that these issues are at the forefront of the Security Council's debates and decision-making. It would also work to strengthen the rules adopted by the Security Council in these areas and their implementation. Furthermore, Switzerland would organise meetings and events focusing on these areas, especially during the two months of its presidency of the Security Council.

Switzerland ideally placed to work for peace and security  

In serving on the Security Council, Switzerland will draw on its core strengths: experience in dialogue and consensus-building and expertise in facilitating the peaceful resolution of disputes. It will enlist the help of key players in the UN system, civil society, the private sector and academia in finding solutions. It will also capitalise on International Geneva and its role as a host state where required. Serving on the UN Security Council is in line with Switzerland's interests and values, as set out in the Federal Council's Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23.

Next step: consultation with foreign affairs committees

The National Council and Council of States Foreign Affairs Committees will now be formally consulted on the priorities in response to the request of the FACs and in line with the Federal Council's report on Switzerland's candidature for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and the involvement of Parliament, dated 11 September 2020. The consultation is expected to continue through the summer. The Federal Council will permanently adopt the priorities at the end of this process.

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