United Nations and International Organisations Division

The United Nations and International Organisations Division (UNIOD) 

  • safeguards Switzerland’s foreign policy interests and promotes Swiss values within the United Nations and other international organisations;
  • coordinates and defines the strategic focus of Switzerland’s multilateral policy and ensures its consistent implementation in the UN General Assembly, Security Council, ECOSOC, Human Rights Council and UNESCO;
  • promotes Switzerland as a host state and Geneva as a centre of global governance, as well as Switzerland’s presence in international organisations.

The Division comprises the following 4 services:

1. UN Coordination: This service maintains an overview of the UN and its activities, and ensures the coherence of Swiss policy in relation to the UN. It is responsible for ensuring that Switzerland’s positions on issues being debated at the UN are consistent and issues directives for the attention of the Swiss missions and delegations to the UN Offices. UN Coordination consists in turn of the following 2 sections:

  • the Section for the General Assembly and ECOSOC, which is responsible for monitoring the business of these two bodies as well as for coordinating Swiss activities in the Human Rights Council
  • the Section for the Security Council, Policy, which is responsible, firstly, for issues dealt with in the Security Council or which relate to them, and, secondly, for ensuring support for Swiss UN policy within internal politics

2. Candidatures Section is responsible for promoting Swiss candidatures for top international positions and for recruiting Swiss personnel for international organizations. This includes helping young Swiss university graduates to start careers at the UN.

3. The Section International Organizations and Host-Country Policy is concerned to provide international organizations based in Switzerland with the best possible conditions, in particular with regard to office premises and the organization of conferences. In addition, it also helps other international organizations to establish themselves in Switzerland. 

4. The UNESCO Section is composed by the Secretariat of the Swiss Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO coordination. The Secrétariat supports the Commission in its task as advisory body for the federal authorities in all areas concerning Switzerland's relations with UNESCO. The Commission also co-ordinates between UNESCO and Swiss educational, scientific, culture, and communications circles. The UNESCO coordination is the UNESCO contact point for the federal administration.