Switzerland actively promotes the environment and human rights

Switzerland presented two resolutions at the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council. One deals with the right to a sustainable environment. The other deals with human rights. Both resolutions were adopted.

Switzerland, together with other countries, presented two resolutions at the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council. One is about the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. The other resolution is about human rights and drug policy. Both resolutions were adopted.

It was the longest session in the history of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended on April 4, 2023. In his opening speech on February 27, Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis, representing the host state, had condemned the Ukraine war and stressed the importance of exchanges in multilateral institutions. 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he recalled that states should implement their international commitments.

Switzerland  submitted two resolutions

Switzerland, together with other countries, presented two resolutions at this meeting. In the first, it reaffirms the importance of a human rights-based approach to environmental protection measures. The resolution was adopted without a vote.

In the second resolution, Switzerland calls for a drug policy that complies with human rights and respects the right to health in particular. Switzerland is a key player in this area. The resolution was also adopted without a vote.

Switzerland also takes a stand on other issues

Switzerland has also joined various joint declarations, namely on the Ukraine war, but also concerning Iran, plastic pollution of the environment, gender recognition, and the investigation of responsibilities related to the 2020 explosion in the port of Beirut.

It has also actively participated in the negotiation of various other resolutions, including on the fight against torture, freedom of religion or belief, human rights defenders, and the right to food.

Representatives of Switzerland contribute

Numerous reports were presented during the session. Switzerland's representatives spoke out in the discussions that followed the presentation of these reports, namely in the debates on the protection of children in armed conflicts, the right to a healthy environment, torture prevention, and human rights defenders. They also commented on the human rights situation in countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, China, Russia, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Venezuela.

High Commission for Human Rights is appreciated

The 52nd session of the Human Rights Council was the first for the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, who took office in October 2022. In a national statement, Switzerland expressed its appreciation for the important work of the High Commissioner in promoting and protecting human rights.