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Swiss candidacy for UN Security Council seat to be re-evaluated

Will Switzerland have a seat at the Security Council or will concerns over neutrality nip such ambitions in the bud? Keystone / Jason Szenes

The Swiss People’s Party wants parliament to reconsider Switzerland's candidacy for the UN Security Council during an extraordinary session.

Parliament will again debate Switzerland’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council just before the election by the UN General Assembly scheduled for June 2022. A request from the People’s Party for an extraordinary session on the issue was revealed on Sunday in the Swiss press and later confirmed by Franz Grüter, the party’s chairman of the Foreign Policy Commission.

Two motions tabled by the Swiss People’s Party last December, calling on the government to abstain from applying for a seat on the Security Council, are due to be debated during this session. The discussion should take place before the election in New York, Grüter pointed out.

According to the parliamentarian, a seat at the Security Council would weaken Switzerland’s role as mediator which is “extremely important”. This role was evident both in the recent Geneva talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and in the face-to-face meeting in June last year between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.

The decision on whether Switzerland will for the first time occupy one of the ten non-permanent seats on the powerful UN body for the period 2023-2024 will be taken in New York in June. The odds of being elected are good. So far, only Malta has announced its candidacy for the two vacant seats in the Western Regional Group.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR