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Switzerland's candidature for the UN Security Council

Twenty years after joining the UN, Switzerland is seeking its first non-permanent mandate on the UN Security Council for a two-year term. The Federal Council approved the candidature and made its submission in 2011 after extensive consultations with Parliament. Since then, the decision has been repeatedly confirmed by both the Federal Council and Parliament. The election for the term from 1.1.2023 to 31.12.2024 will be held by the UN General Assembly with its 193 member states in New York in June 2022.

Picture of the UN Security Council: Men and women sitting in a semicircle voting on something.
UN Security Council. (© Keystone)

Switzerland's candidature is a continuation of its engagement for peace and security within the UN and throughout the world. Since joining the UN in 2002, Switzerland has held key positions in all of the organisation's major bodies except for the Security Council. The Federal Constitution states that Switzerland is committed to a "just and peaceful international order", the same goal as the UN Security Council. That is why the Federal Council has identified Switzerland's candidature as a key part of its peace and security thematic focus area in its 2020–23 foreign policy strategy.


Membership of the UN Security Council...

  • Is a key instrument in promoting Switzerland's foreign policy interests and values. A peaceful global order based on the rule of law is of major importance for Switzerland, whose export-oriented economy depends on open markets with clear rules. Peace and stability are essential for prosperity and development.
  • Is in line with Switzerland's good offices and engagement in peace policy. A seat on the Security Council allows Switzerland to contribute with its long-standing expertise and credibility to the peaceful settlement of disputes for the benefit of the international community.
  • Increases Switzerland's foreign policy impact and the possibility to influence decision-making for instance related to the UN office in Geneva. With a seat on the Security Council, Switzerland can also steer the direction of the UN's work and the efficient use of funds.

Security Council membership does not entail any additional legal, political or financial obligations towards the UN. Switzerland's candidature is fully compatible with the country's neutrality, as detailed in the Federal Council's report of 5 June 2015 (see link below). In the Security Council, independent voices such as Switzerland's – that are committed to a global order based on the rule of law and have the ability to build bridges between the various camps – are more important than ever. This has also been highlighted by the experiences of other neutral countries such as Austria, Ireland and Sweden, who have repeatedly served on the Security Council and continue to seek further terms as non-permanent members.

Last update 21.02.2022