“We are delighted with this election. We approach this task with respect, and are ready to engage constructively and assume responsibility as a member of the Security Council”, said President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis, who was present at the election.
Switzerland’s commitment to atrocity prevention
Switzerland intends to set four priorities for its seat on the Security Council: addressing climate security, enhancing the effectiveness of the Security Council, building sustainable peace and protecting civilians.
The last two points resonate deeply with GAAMAC’s mission to prevent atrocity crimes on a permanent basis, in every single country. Switzerland was a founding member of GAAMAC and chaired the network until 2020. It remains a member of its Steering Group.
GAAMAC congratulates Switzerland and rejoices that such an active advocate of atrocity prevention now sits at the Security Council. “Now more than ever, we see the need to ensure the full and universal implementation of international law to make a difference on the ground” said GAAMAC Chair, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi.
Permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council
Established in 1946, the Security Council is one of the main UN bodies. It is composed of five permanent members (France, Russia, the United States, China and the United Kingdom – the ‘P5’) and ten non-permanent members (the ‘E10’) elected by the UN General Assembly for a two-year term. Switzerland was elected last week along with Malta, Japan, Ecuador and Mozambique. Albania, Brazil, Ghana, Gabon and the United Arab Emirates will also continue to be represented in 2023. Although permanent members have a veto, they still depend on non-permanent members, as draft resolutions need at least nine votes to be adopted by the Security Council. In addition, the non-permanent members regularly provide important thematic impetus for the Security Council’s work.
This article is based on a press release of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.