Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations

Last updated

Permanent Representative of Switzerland
to the United Nations
Pascale Baeriswyl

since 2020
Reports to Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Seat 633 Third Avenue
New York, New York, U.S.
Appointer Federal Council
First holder Jenö Staehelin

The Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations office was established in 2002, after Switzerland joined the United Nations. It is located at 633 Third Avenue in New York. [1]


The current Permanent Representative is Pascale Baeriswyl, who will also assume a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council on 1 January 2023.


Switzerland held observer status in several United Nations (UN) organs since 1948, but did not join the UN over neutrality concerns [2] and was a full member only of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. [2] In March 2002 the people of Switzerland voted to join the UN, and Switzerland became a member in September of that year. [3] Since then, an ambassador has represented Switzerland at the UN. [4]


Neutrality continued to be an issue but, according to the first ambassador, Jenö Staehelin, Switzerland's role as a neutral country was accepted by fellow member states. [3] Peter Maurer succeeded Staehelin in 2004 and served as the head of the budget commission of the United Nations General Assembly for the term 2009–2010. [5] Switzerland aimed to assist the United Nations to evolve into a more democratic body or to strengthen the ICC. [6] In terms of transparency, its third representative, Paul Seger, equated the election of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the election of the Pope. [6] During the tenure of the next ambassador, Jürg Lauber, the UN celebrated its 75th anniversary and had to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. [7]

Seat on the United Nations Security Council

In 2011 the Federal Council decided to campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023–2024. [8] Its campaign slogan was "A plus for Peace". [9] In 2020 Jenö Staehelin voiced concern about the Federal Council's goal to aim for a seat on the Security Council. [8] Recalling Switzerland's tradition of neutrality, he assumed the superpowers would eventually exert more pressure than Switzerland would be able to withstand. [8] In March 2022 the Swiss People's Party entered a motion to withdraw the candidacy. [10] Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis stated that withdrawing from a decision taken eleven years earlier was not an option for the Federal Council and the motion did not succeed. [10] Switzerland and Malta were the only two eligible countries and it was assumed that the election would be a formality. [10] In June 2022 Switzerland was elected a non-permanent member of the Security Council, with 187 votes. [11]


NameStart of termEnd of term
Jenö Staehelin 20022004
Peter Maurer 20042010 [12]
Paul Seger  [ de ]20102015 [6]
Jürg Lauber 20152020 [13]
Pascale Baeriswyl 2020

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  2. 1 2 Wildhaber, Luzius (1970). "Switzerland, Neutrality and the United Nations". Malaya Law Review. 12 (1): 140–159. ISSN   0542-335X. JSTOR   24862646 via JSTOR.
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  4. "Erster Schweizer UNO-Botschafter "kein Fan" einer Kandidatur der Schweiz". SWI (in German). Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  5. "Botschafter Peter Maurer zum Vorsitzenden des Budgetausschusses der UNO-Generalversammlung gewählt". Retrieved 2022-06-11.
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  9. "Switzerland, a plus for..." Switzerland – Candidature to the UN Security Council 2023/24. Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  10. 1 2 3 "Trotz Krieg in der Ukraine - Die Schweiz kandidiert definitiv für den UNO-Sicherheitsrat". Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) (in German). 2022-03-14. Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  11. "Wahl der Schweiz in den UNO-Sicherheitsrat". Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  12. "Peter Maurer neuer Staatssekretär im EDA". Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  13. "schweiz-uno Jürg Lauber – Im Einsatz für den Multilateralismus" (in German). Retrieved 2022-06-11.