On 9 June 2022, Switzerland was elected to sit on the 15-member United Nations Security Council with 14 other nations from 2023 to 2024.
The result was largely expected. Only one candidate stood for each of the five regional seats available this year. Switzerland received 187 favourable votes out of a possible 190. Votes are anonymous so which countries abstained is unknown.
The other four entrants to the Security Council next year are Ecuador, Japan, Malta and Mozambique. The role is a first for both Mozambique and Switzerland. The Security Council seat comes 20 years after Switzerland became a member of the United Nations.
Swiss president and foreign minister Ignazio Cassis said that the seat brought credibility to Switzerland because it can show what it is doing for peace and stability, reported RTS. Switzerland’s priorities in the Council are sustainable peace, climate change, security and the protection of civilians, said Cassis.
Political reaction to the election within Switzerland was mixed. All but one of Switzerland’s main parties are supportive of the move. However, representatives of the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) voiced their disapproval. They see it as damaging to Swiss neutrality and fear the nation could now be dragged into foreign conflicts. In a tweet it said “With a seat on the UN Security Council Switzerland is definitively party to war.”