Arms exports ban rejected in parliament

The House of Representatives has come out against a proposal to ban the export of weapons and other military materiel.

This content was published on March 12, 2009 - 12:18

A clear majority voted against the people's initiative by the pacifist group, Switzerland Without an Army. The issue still has to be discussed by the Senate, before it comes to a nationwide vote at a later date.

Opponents argued the ban would lead to 10,000 job cuts in the country and threatened the purchase of arms for the Swiss army.

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard said the initiative was an attack on national security. She added that strict rules helped prevent exports to countries which violate international law.

Supporters, mainly among the centre-left, said the sale of weapons was in breach of humanitarian principles.

Last year Switzerland exported military materiel worth SFr772 million ($668 million) to more than 70 countries around the world, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Romania and Turkey.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.