Press releases, 23.02.2023

On 23 February 2023, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the FDFA, attended an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The deliberations focused on Russia's ongoing military aggression against Ukraine, which began a year ago. Mr Cassis voiced his support for the General Assembly's resolution calling for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Mr Cassis is at the United Nations headquarters in New York this weekend, one year after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. He is taking part in an emergency special session of the General Assembly, as well as in a Security Council debate. This serves as an occasion for him to reiterate Switzerland's strong condemnation of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, still under way, and to call for an immediate end to the conflict and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine's sovereign territory.

"With today's resolution, we are sending out a strong message of peace and respect for the principles that unite us," said Mr Cassis before the General Assembly. The new text calls on UN member states and international organisations to strengthen their support for peace. For Mr Cassis, who stressed his appeal to the entire international community "to work hand in hand towards a peaceful settlement of this conflict," it is a clear signal from the international community to Russia.

Russia's military aggression against Ukraine is a serious violation of the UN Charter.  The Geneva Conventions protect persons not or no longer participating in hostilities. The consequences of the war are also having a serious impact on global security and have led to large-scale displacement of populations, as well as food and energy insecurity. These negative effects are felt far beyond Ukraine's borders.

On 24 February, Mr Cassis will take part in a UN Security Council debate also held to address the situation in Ukraine. Switzerland seeks to use its two-year term in this forum to strengthen multilateralism with more solidarity, more dialogue and more unity – values that Switzerland will strongly promote this coming May in particular, as it will then hold the presidency of the Security Council.

Mr Cassis is also using his stay in New York to establish various bilateral contacts. In addition, he will join (virtually) a Ukraine-themed special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.

Further information:

Press release of 22 February about Federal Council taking stock of Swiss engagement
News platform: Switzerland's engagement in Ukraine
News platform: Switzerland's membership of the UN Security Council
UN General Assembly: Declaration by Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 19.07.2023

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FDFA Communication

Federal Palace West
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Phone (for journalists only):
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Phone (for all other requests):
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