Country Profile: Switzerland

Country Profile: Switzerland

Members of the Swiss Armed Forces have participated in UN peacekeeping operations for the most part as unarmed military observers. Over the past decades, Switzerland has contributed a low but steady number of uniformed specialists (e.g. experts in international humanitarian law or humanitarian de-mining) that are often in short supply and valued by the UN. In the early 1990s, medical units of the Swiss army deployed to Namibia (UNTAG) and the Western Sahara (MINURSO). Other specialist contributions to UN peacekeeping have included experts on humanitarian demining, small arms and ordinance disposal, security sector reform, as well as financial, administrative logistical and technical advisers.

Yet unlike numerous other states, Switzerland did not make any specific pledges at the 2015 Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping. As of December 2015, 30 Swiss officers are serving as unarmed military observers, liaison officers, military advisers, or staff officers with the UN in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia (UNTSO, MONUSCO, UNMISS, MINUSMA, ASIFU MINUSMA, UNMOGIP, and MINURSO). In addition, members of the Swiss Armed Forces serve in humanitarian demining roles both in the field in Africa and in New York.

Read more in our country profile by Andrea Baumann and Marco Wyss

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