The NNSC across time

Article, 10.11.2023

Symposium on Historic Perspectives and Contemporary Mission

70 years of NNSC
70 years of NNSC © Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Korea

On October 13, the Swiss Embassy hosted a symposium titled "The NNSC across time – historic perspectives and contemporary mission" on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC).

The institute for Swiss diplomatic documents DODIS, financially supported by DDPS, has produced a comprehensive publication on the 70 years of history of the NNSC in the Swiss diplomatic documents. Prof. Dr. Sacha Zala from DODIS joined the symposium to present the book on the occasion. The publication can be found online here.

The event was co-organized with the Swedish embassy, with both ambassadors actively participating. The Swedish Special Envoy to the Korean Peninsula, Ambassador Peter Semneby could attend as well. While both NNSC delegation heads, Maj. Gen. Ivo Burgener (CH) and Maj. Gen. Lena Maria Persson Herlitz (SWE), planned to attend, the latter was represented by Swedish Col. Peter Nilsson. The symposium was also honored by the participation of Ret. Maj. Gen. Urs Gerber, former head of the Swiss Delegation to the NNSC.

After the establishment of the Seoul Basel city partnership in 2022 the symposium marks the second return of swisspeace and its Director Prof. Dr. Laurent Goetschel as part of the Basel week and co-host, following up on last years "avenues to promote peace" forum.

The rapport established during the previous year's event led to swisspeace receiving invitations to the Jeju Peace Forum and Yonsei Peace Conference by the two Korean panelists, Prof. Dr. Han Injae and Prof. Dr. Ko Sangtu, respectively.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of the NNSC's role, Dr. Kye Yongho, Director of the Institute for Military History at the Ministry of National Defense, shed light on the Korean perspective on the peacekeeping mission. Dr. Kye Yong-Ho's focus on the NNSC's history is reflective of the growing interest within South Korea to understand and appreciate the commissions’ contributions over the decades.