UN – Promotion of peace and security

Maintaining international peace and security: this is prime purpose of the United Nations (UN). Founded after the Second World War as a collective security system, the UN pursued this ambitious aim from the outset.

The UN understands security to mean far more than simply the absence of conflict and armed violence. Development, human rights, and protection from environmental hazards are important preconditions for security and lasting peace. The maintenance of peace today has many different facets, of a civil as well as a military nature.

Switzerland supports the UN peacebuilding efforts by providing both personnel and financing.

The UN acts on behalf of peace and security in various ways:

  • The Security Council establishes peacekeeping and peace-support missions.
  • The Secretary-General can himself take initiatives.
  • Representatives or envoys of the Secretary-General visit trouble spots to seek solutions to conflicts, preferably prior to the outbreak of violence.
  • The UN can also impose sanctions if negotiation or mediation fails.
  • If a conflict threatens world peace and international security, the Security Council may as a last resort authorize military intervention (Chapter 7 of the UN Charter).
  • The UN Peacebuilding Commission is able to support post-conflict States on their path to lasting peace and to facilitate the dialogue between the main actors. Switzerland actively participates in the Peacebuilding Commission and holds the chairmanship of the Commission’s Burundi Configuration, which supports the peace-consolidation process in Burundi. In order to create positive synergies between the Commission and «International Geneva», Switzerland also supports the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (GPP).