India – Switzerland relationship: Fighting together for a peaceful world 

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Source: The post is based on the article Fighting together for a peaceful worldpublished in the “The Indian Express” on 31st May 2023. 

Syllabus: GS2 – International relations.

Relevance: About India – Switzerland relationship.  

News: The article explains the foreign policy priorities of Switzerland and its convergence with Indian foreign policy. 

What are the foreign policies and priorities of Switzerland at UNSC?

The President of Swiss convened a UNSC open debate on the protection of civilians in zones of armed conflicts.  

There are twin strands in Switzerland’s foreign policy – peace promotion and the protection of civilians in zones of armed conflict. Switzerland has been active in pushing forward these principles. 

The Swiss Foreign Minister chaired a high-level open debate focusing on building mutual trust to promote sustainable peace. It declared that it is time for the Security Council to reflect on its potential for action in the face of the increasing number of crises.

What are the historical reasons behind Switzerland’s peace promotion policy? 

Switzerland itself has not always been a peaceful country. It was ravaged by several civil wars between Catholics and Protestants for a period of up to 300 years.  

The last civil war of 1847 led to deep reflection for the Swiss people and their political leadership. As a result of this, the Swiss people decided to set up inclusive federal institutions to build domestic peace.  

Switzerland’s history helps to explain the choice of the Swiss government’s priorities for its two-year term in the UNSC. 

What are the similarities in foreign policy-related priorities of India and Switzerland? 

The priorities of Switzerland are also the same ones ingrained in ahimsa. It is the Indian religious and ethical principle of not causing harm to other living things. 

India, in whose teachings the non-violence values are rooted, is a natural partner when it comes to Swiss foreign policy priorities. 

There are evident convergences between Swiss and Indian foreign policy priorities. Both of which aim at peace promotion. Peace and harmony are also integral to India’s G20 presidency vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. 

At this historic moment, Switzerland and India together can contribute greatly to world peace – Switzerland as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in New York, and India by presiding over the G20. 

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