Press releases, 18.03.2024

The third edition of the Summit for Democracy is scheduled to be held in the Republic of Korea from 18 to 20 March under the banner of 'Democracy for Future Generations'. Ambassador Simon Geissbühler delivered a statement at Monday's ministerial meeting which focused on the impact of artificial intelligence and digital technologies on democracy.

Democracies around the world have come under increasing pressure over the past two decades. A large majority of the world's population lives in non-democratic states. Against this backdrop, around 300 representatives from governments, international organisations, academia and civil society will meet at the third Summit for Democracy in Seoul from 18 to 20 March. The summit will serve as a forum for dialogue on policy strategies and solutions, with a particular focus on new technologies, in order to promote democracy for future generations. Mr Geissbühler, head of the FDFA's Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD), delivered a statement at the ministerial meeting which took place on Monday as part of the summit. President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd will also address the summit in a video message.

"While new technologies present risks, they also create opportunities, especially for democracy. Young people have a key role to play in this," said Geissbühler. Technological advances offer opportunities to streamline electoral processes, improve access to information and increase the efficiency of public authorities. However, rapid developments in AI also have the potential to undermine democratic decision-making processes through disinformation and repression. "We must ensure that technology continues to serve citizens and does not become an instrument of oppression or manipulation," emphasised Geissbühler in his statement. This is particularly important to ensure the engagement of young people, who are very active in the digital space, in the political process. At the same time, it is important that the fight against disinformation is not used as a pretext to place undue restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms. To minimise the negative impact of artificial intelligence, Switzerland contributed its expertise to the Council of Europe's negotiations on the Convention on Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, which were successfully concluded last week.

The Federal Council defined 'democracy and governance' as one of the thematic priorities of the Foreign Policy Strategy 2024–27. Growing autocratic tendencies in many countries around the world present a challenge to Swiss foreign policy. The aim of the strategy is to strengthen democratic values and freedoms, promote dialogue and cooperation with other democracies and bolster the resilience of democracies that are facing increasing pressure.

Further information:

Article, "A democracy is never guaranteed forever"
Foreign Policy Strategy 2024-2027

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 19.07.2023

  • FDFA Communication answers media queries Mondays to Fridays during office hours and operates a weekend emergency on-call service.


FDFA Communication

Federal Palace West
3003 Bern

Phone (for journalists only):
+41 58 460 55 55

Phone (for all other requests):
+41 58 462 31 53

Start of page