On 3 January 2023, Switzerland began its first term as a member of the UN Security Council in New York, a position it will hold until the end of 2024.
After a UN vote in June 2022, Switzerland was elected to the position after 10 years of preparation.
Over the years there has been significant internal political opposition to Switzerland acting in such a role. The Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) has long argued that election to the UN Security Council undermines the nation’s neutrality. However, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has long stressed the opposite.
According to the FDFA, activities are already in full swing in Bern and at the mission in New York. Currently, the focus of the staff is on preparations for the upcoming Security Council meetings on the situation in Syria and West Africa, as well as reporting to the Federal Council and Parliament, it said.
The FDFA described membership of the Security Council is an important opportunity. The UN Security Council has a significant role to play for peace in the world. In addition to the five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the USA and the United Kingdom), the following ten states are non-permanent members in 2023: Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta and Mozambique, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Switzerland’s priorities four thematic priorities adopted by Switzerland’s Federal Council. These are building sustainable peace, protecting civilians in armed conflict, addressing climate security and enhancing the effectiveness of the Security Council.