Switzerland approved as UN member by Security Council

The Security Council in New York is the UN's highest decision-making body Keystone Archive

The United Nations Security Council has recommended Switzerland's admission as the 190th member of the United Nations.

This content was published on July 25, 2002 - 11:47

Wednesday's decision paves the way for the General Assembly to complete the process and vote on the issue on September 10.

Switzerland formally applied for membership last week following a nationwide vote in March in favour of joining the world body.

"I wish to extend my congratulations to the Swiss Confederation on this historic occasion," said the British Ambassador, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, this month's council president.

"The council notes with great satisfaction the Swiss Confederation's solemn commitment to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations [...]."

Switzerland's admission on September 10, during the 57th session of the General Assembly will by followed on September 27 by the Pacific nation of East Timor, which gained independence from Indonesia in May after two years of UN administration.

The Swiss president, Kaspar Villiger, is expected to be on hand for the ceremonies and accompany Secretary General Kofi Annan to the raising of the Swiss flag in the courtyard of UN headquarters.

Switzerland has been formally neutral for almost 200 years but has been an active member of UN agencies since the 1950s.

Over the past decade it has adhered to UN decisions on sanctions and a year ago approved plans to allow Swiss troops to join peacekeeping operations when the government deems it is safe to do so.

swissinfo with agencies

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