Bern, Press releases, 12.01.2011

Today, the Federal Council has decided to register Switzerland on the list of candidates of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2023-2024. Membership of the Security Council would give Switzerland an additional instrument to represent its interests and to achieve its foreign policy objectives. The Federal Council’s decision was preceded by in-depth consultations with the Parliamentary Foreign Policy Committees.

At its meeting today, the Federal Council has decided to register Switzerland as a candidate for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2023-2024. Within the UN, Switzerland belongs to the western regional group, WEOG, that is entitled to two non-permanent seats on the Security Council every two years. The period 2023-2024 is the earliest possible period for which other countries from this group have not already registered their candidature. The elections are scheduled for 2022.

Membership of the Security Council would give Switzerland a platform to pursue its interests in the field of peace promotion and to raise its profile as an honest broker and bridge-builder. It would facilitate international contacts as well as enable Switzerland to further develop and foster networks. As a member of the Council Switzerland would be able to demonstrate its willingness to assume responsibility at the global level and in this way strengthen its position in the world. Membership of the Security Council 21 years after joining the UN would be a logical result of Switzerland’s commitment and would be in keeping with the image it has developed within the UN.

The Federal Council takes the view that a seat on the Security Council is compatible with Switzerland’s neutrality and would not have any adverse effects on its policy of providing good offices. The fundamental aim of the UN “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war“ (Preamble of the UN Charter) corresponds with the task of the Swiss Federal Constitution to contribute to the establishment of a peaceful and just world order. A majority of both Parliamentary Foreign Policy Committees, which conducted  in-depth discussions on the effects of possible Swiss membership of the Security Council in the medium term, also favours the presentation of Switzerland’s candidature.  

Contact / questions:
Ambassador Alexander Fasel, head of FDFA Political Affairs Division III,
Tel. + 41 79 540 89 42 

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