The Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the other international organisations in Geneva, better known to most people as the “Swiss Mission”, is the responsibility of Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the international organisations in Geneva. The Swiss Mission is the body representing the host country in its relations with the international organisations and other permanent representative bodies. It has a dual role:
About the Mission
On the one hand, its Multilateral Division, led by Ambassador Félix Baumann, Deputy Permanent Representative of Switzerland, performs all the tasks specific to multilateral diplomacy, in just the same way as other permanent missions. These include representing Swiss interests, liaison activities, negotiation, providing information, participating in the activities of the various organizations, protecting national interests, and so on. Ambassador Baumann is also Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Conference on Disarmament.
Host Country Division
On the other hand, through its Host Country Division, led by Ambassador Yannick Roulin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Switzerland, it helps to strengthen the role of International Geneva as a centre of global governance. In this respect it works to develop Switzerland’s hosting conditions, adapting these in line with changes to the multilateral system.
The tasks of the Host Country Division include managing the status of the international organisations, around 250 permanent missions and delegations and some 43,000 individuals. It also ensures the safety and security of this community, manages disputes, and facilitates the issue of visas for participation in the activities of International Geneva. Moreover, it is responsible for maintaining the high quality of its real estate and conference facilities.
The Swiss Mission also serves as a diplomatic channel between the permanent missions and international organisations and the Swiss authorities (federal, cantonal and communal), as provided for in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and in the various headquarters agreements.
the Office of the President of the Council of State of Geneva
the Public Relations Service of the City of Geneva
the Office of Public Affairs of the Canton of Vaud.
Furthermore, the Swiss Mission works closely with other partners such as the International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI), founded in 1996 by the federal government and the Canton of Geneva to provide guidance to members of the international community living and working in the Geneva region and to support their integration in the local community.