FDFA State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl to head Switzerland's mission to the UN in New York from 2020

Press release, 21.08.2019

At its meeting of 21 August 2019, the Federal Council appointed FDFA State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl as the new head of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York. She will serve as State Secretary until the end of 2019 and will take up her new post in spring 2020.

State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl is a diplomat with extensive multilateral and bilateral credentials. Since she assumed the post of state secretary of the FDFA on 1 December 2016, she has conducted over 60 bilateral negotiations and political consultations with officials from all of the world's major countries and represented Switzerland at numerous ministerial conferences, including at the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

As an expert on peace and security, Ms Baeriswyl was instrumental in the establishment of four new protecting power mandates and has played a key role in peacebuilding efforts in a number of settings, including Colombia, Mozambique, the Middle East and Nepal.

Challenges ahead at the UN in New York

Ms Baeriswyl's appointment by the Federal Council is a recognition of her long-standing professional experience, expertise in multilateral diplomacy and extensive network of international contacts. Her remit in the next few years will include
Switzerland's membership of the UN's Economic and Social Council in 2020–21, its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2023–24, its contribution to UN reforms, the promotion of human rights and the challenges and opportunities presented by new technologies.

Ms Baeriswyl will continue to fulfil her duties as FDFA state secretary until the end of 2019. In addition to her regular foreign policy activities, she will focus in particular on the Federal Council's foreign policy strategy 2020–23 and the development of a new career profile for diplomatic staff.

Broad diplomatic experience

Pascale Baeriswyl was born in Bern in 1968. She studied law, history, French literature and linguistics in Basel, Geneva and Paris, graduating with master's degrees in law and philology. After working as a researcher for the Swiss National Science Foundation and as a judge for the Basel Civil Court, she joined the Swiss diplomatic service in 2000. Her deployments abroad have been to Hanoi in 2001, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the European Union in Brussels in 2005 and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York in 2008, where she headed the political section as counsellor to the permanent representative, with a focus on the UN Security Council.

In August 2013, she returned to head office in Bern, where she became assistant director of the Directorate of International Law and was responsible for matters relating to public and international law and dictators' assets. As the state secretary of the FDFA and head of the Directorate of Political Affairs, a post she has held since 1 December 2016, she is the Federal Council's first point of contact in matters concerning foreign policy. She represents the head of the FDFA at ministerial conferences both within and outside Switzerland and serves on relevant parliamentary committees.

Ms Baeriswyl is responsible for the strategic and conceptual development of Switzerland's foreign policy and its operational implementation via a network of around 120 embassies. She serves on a number of interdepartmental committees, including the Security Core Group and the interdepartmental structure for international cooperation on migration, which she also chaired, as well as the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Europe.

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Information
Tel. +41 58 462 31 53


The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs