The Section for Security and General Affairs deals with requests from international organisations and permanent missions regarding security and monitors compliance with Switzerland's special duty to protect. It facilitates the issuing of visas in the context of International Geneva, manages disputes and facilitates the resolution of contentious issues.
The Section for Security and General Affairs has four main areas of responsibility:
The section is the first port of call for requests from international organisations and permanent missions with regard to security. These requests mainly concern the security of diplomatic premises and heads of state, governments, ministers and other dignitaries visiting Switzerland, and security at conferences and international events. In this context, the Swiss Mission works closely with the Federal Security Service and the Geneva police, in particular the Diplomatic Unit. In addition, the section deals with risk management matters related to International Geneva (civil defence, pandemics).
The section has a visa service that ensures the implementation of Switzerland’s obligations as outlined in the headquarters agreements with international organisations and in accordance with Schengen regulations. As an advisory and decision-making structure, the task of the visa service is to facilitate the entry and stay on Swiss territory of delegates attending approximately 3,300 meetings annually in Geneva. It works closely with international organisations, relevant permanent missions and the network of Swiss Embassies and Consulates abroad responsible for the issuing of visas.
General Affairs deals with all kinds of dispute involving beneficiaries of privileges and immunities. These include handling cases related to the Road Traffic Act, customs matters, debt collection and other contentious issues.
The General Affairs section also focuses on a number of specific matters in connection with NGOs.
Hosting of international meetings and conferences
The section provides logistical support for the running of events in connection with the good offices provided by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.