The idea for this project was born even before the Covid pandemic. As head of Swiss diplomacy, I was looking without success for an illustrated history of Swiss diplomacy. I wanted to be inspired to redefine the professional profiles of diplomats in the 21st century. Recruiting young talents is something very important for me. So we came up with the idea of creating a digital photo series that shows the wide range of activities of Swiss diplomacy - through the ages!
Diplomacy is multi-faceted, it does not take place exclusively on the red carpet, in conferences or at receptions. Diplomacy takes place before, during and after the negotiating table. Diplomacy builds relationships and connects; it can prevent conflicts, mediate where there is no more talk. Diplomacy is never static.
This photo series is a journey through almost 175 years of Swiss diplomacy and invites you to do more in-depth research if you are interested. Perhaps it will inspire a thesis one day? After all, the target group of "Diplomacy through the ages", together with other interested parties, is you, dear young people.
It gives me great pleasure to look at the elaborately researched photos with you. My colleagues have succeeded in tracing individual perspectives of diplomacy over the decades and thus depicting the development and progress achieved.
There is something else I do not want to hide from you: The photos we are presenting to you today will be continuously expanded and the project will be extended. "Diplomacy through the ages" offers a dynamic use. A return to this FDFA page will therefore also be worthwhile in the future, because understanding our past shapes our future.
I wish you interesting and inspiring insights!
President of the Swiss Confederation