Switzerland begins presidency of UN Security Council

Switzerland begins presidency of UN Security Council

After taking its seat at the United Nations Security Council earlier this year, Switzerland is now taking on a new challenge - the country is presiding over the council for the month of May! For the first time in its relatively short history with the UN, Switzerland will take up the rotating presidency of the Security Council (UNSC) and play a key role in maintaining peace and security across the globe. 

What will Switzerland do during its Security Council presidency?

Since joining the security council, Switzerland has worked closely with the five permanent (P5) UNSC members - the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China, as well as other rotating members - at the moment: Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and the United Arab Emirates. These nations work together to resolve issues relating to peace and security across the globe. 

Switzerland is taking over the presidency of the UNSC at a challenging time. Tensions between P5 members over the Ukraine war, as well as increasing animosity between the US and China, raises questions over how useful the UN mechanism is for addressing key international issues. Nevertheless, the Swiss delegation appears keen to take on the challenge. 

During the month of May, the Swiss delegation will be responsible for chairing meetings and preparing the council’s agenda, as well as acting as the organisation's public representative. “We should not overestimate the importance of the council presidency. A lot of the tasks associated with being president are pretty mundane,” Richard Gowan, UN director at the International Crisis Group, told Swissinfo

Swiss presidency of UNSC gives country greater visibility on world stage

While many of the tasks Switzerland will take on are administrative, the country is keen to benefit from the increased visibility that a UNSC presidency brings. “What the presidency allows the country to do is to really set out why it’s in the Security Council and explain what its goal being there is, what its role on the world stage is”, Gowan told Swissinfo

Throughout its presidency, Switzerland will hope to push forth on the goals it set out at the start of its UNSC membership. The country stated that it wants to focus on building sustainable peace, protecting civilians in armed conflicts, addressing climate change and the role it plays in international (in)security, and making the council more effective in its role. 

The month-long presidency will see the Swiss delegation hold a number of events featuring members of the Swiss government, including an appearance from Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, the President of Switzerland Alain Berset and Defense Minister Viola Amherd. The country will also hold “open debates” - where Switzerland can set its own agenda - to address some of the goals that the country has laid out.

Image: / Arsenie Krasnevsky

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

Read more



Leave a comment