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Membership anniversary UN chief praises Swiss contribution to world body

Møller was appointed director-general at the UN Geneva Office in 2013. The 64-year-old Danish national has worked for the UN for more than three decades    

(Keystone)

The director-general of the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Michael Møller, says Switzerland has an important role to play in an increasingly fragmented world.

“Switzerland is boxing above its weight,” Møller said in an interview with the Swiss News Agency for the 15th anniversary of Swiss membership of the UN on Sunday.

Referring to the country’s small size and its broad international commitments, he highlighted the Swiss contribution for sustainable development, human rights, health and conflict mediation.

“There is no other country in the world which is hosting as many UN activities as Switzerland,” Møller said.

In another interview in the Saturday edition of the Blick newspaper, he is quoted as saying the Geneva could play a crucial role in efforts to diffuse tensions between North Korea and the United States.

Neutrality

Talking to the Swiss News Agency, he said Switzerland’s neutral status added to the country’s credibility to help seek solutions and could also be useful in the UN Security Council. The Swiss government is preparing an application for a non-permanent seat in the council for 2023/24.

The presence of international organisations has become part of the Swiss identity according to Møller, benefiting both Switzerland and the UN. But he also noted a political trend to withdraw from international engagements and become more self-centred.

The UN office at Geneva has about 1,600 employees from more than 110 countries. In total, around 10,000 people work for UN agencies in Geneva, including the World Health and World Trade Organizations.

swissinfo.ch with agencies/urs


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