International Security Division

The International Security Division (ISD) works at the interface between domestic and international security in order to protect Swiss interests in terms of national and global security.

Sections:

  • The Global Security Section analyses questions concerning international security and follows the developments of the major European security actors: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union (EU) and the politico-military dimension of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Together with the responsible services of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS), it represents Switzerland’s interests in the framework of the ‘Partnership for Peace’, the NATO cooperation programme with individual Euro-Atlantic partner states, and carries out projects in this field. It makes contributions to global efforts to address new security policy challenges such as terrorism and cyber security. The section ensures the exchange of information between the FDFA and the other security policy actors of the Swiss Confederation. 
  • The Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Section is concerned with questions of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, delivery systems as well as some areas of conventional arms control and security in space. In cooperation with other services both within and outside the FDFA, it coordinates Switzerland’s positions in international bodies, organisations and state party conferences, including the Disarmament Conference in Geneva, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and export-control bodies.
  • The Export Controls and Private Security Services Section is the responsible authority for the implementation of the Federal Act on Private Security Services provided Abroad by private security firms and performs the administrative procedures set out in that law. It works within the FDFA on developing policy with regard to private security firms. It participates at the national and international level in the dialogue on domestic standards for private military and security companies. It maintains contacts with the government agencies involved, leads communication with the industry and publishes information for the general public. The section also coordinates the FDFA’s positions on Switzerland’s export trade of war materiel and of industrial products controlled by the Goods Control Act. 
  • The Cyberdiplomacy Section deals with security challenges related to new technologies. Increasing global networking brings opportunities for Switzerland, but also poses new risks for security, the economy and society. An open, free, secure and rule-based cyberspace is therefore of strategic importance for Switzerland. The head of the section, the Special Envoy for Cyber Foreign and Security Policy ensures, through close and targeted cooperation with various stakeholders within and outside the Federal Administration, that Switzerland can successfully position itself internationally in the area of cyber and new technologies. Furthermore, the section contributes to optimal framework conditions for Switzerland as a location for the responsible development and use of new technologies and as a venue for discussions and negotiations in this area. 
  • The CH@WORLD and Information Management Section registers and archives political reports submitted by the representations abroad to the head office, and is responsible for the publication of the journal ‘Politorbis’ which appears periodically on specific foreign policy themes. It also compiles the weekly foreign policy events calendar.