Ignazio Cassis attacks Russia during his first participation in the Security Council

Ignazio Cassis targeted Russia’s “flagrant” violations in Ukraine for his first speech to the UN Security Council. Thursday in New York, the Federal Councilor deplored that the principles of the Charter of the United Nations are “put to the test”.

“It is the duty of every State to respect the standards and principles set out therein”, affirmed the head of Swiss diplomacy. during a debate on the rule of law, seated next to Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia. In front of the Swiss press, he had previously mentioned Russia, believing that the latter’s offensive shows how important the rule of law is for smaller countries.

Ignazio Cassis had already in the past relayed Switzerland’s condemnations of Russian aggression in Ukraine to the UN, attracting the disapproval of his counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Before the meeting began on Thursday, the Federal Councilor spoke briefly with US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who also targeted Moscow before the Council, demanding that those responsible face consequences for their actions.

>> See also the report in Forum:

The premiere of Ignazio Cassis at the UN Security Council [RTS]

The premiere of Ignazio Cassis at the UN Security Council / Forum / 4 min. / today at 6:00 p.m.

“Symbolically important moment”

Prohibition of the use of force against the territorial integrity of another country, peaceful settlement of disputes or even guarantee of fundamental freedoms: the Federal Councilor has outlined more broadly the obligations which depend on the Charter. “It is our duty, as members of the Security Council, to ensure compliance with these rules,” insisted the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

This first speech by the Federal Councilor before the most powerful body in the UN system is “a symbolically important moment”, he admitted to the Swiss press. It was also an opportunity to relay the country’s goodwill. “Switzerland is delighted to work for peace and security in the world with all the members of the Security Council”, declared Ignazio Cassis in front of the other countries.

Switzerland looks forward to working for peace and security in the world with all members of the Security Council

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis comments on Switzerland's election as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the period 2023-2024, Thursday, June 9, 2022 during a session of the General Assembly at the US headquarters of the UN At New York. [Alessandro della Valle - KEYSTONE]

Ignazio Cassis

But the Ticino also urged them to guarantee that the procedures are honored so that the body strengthens its “credibility”, calling for consistent efforts. He particularly praised the work of the mediator of the Sanctions Committee on the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda for the application of the rule of law in the UN sanctions. And to wish for a similar approach for all other sanctions regimes.

>> Read also: Ignazio Cassis: “Switzerland must have a firm stance on the violation of public international law”

International Geneva mentioned

Faced with violations of international law and an “insufficient” application, according to him, of international criminal law, Ignazio Cassis asks for support from international bodies. Without naming her, he slipped a call to collaborate with International Geneva.

He mentioned in particular the Human Rights Council and the United Nations fact-finding and investigation mechanisms, whose secretariat is often headed from Geneva. But the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) were not forgotten in his speech.

Violations of the rule of law and human rights often precede a conflict. Ignazio Cassis called on the Council to consider this link in its decisions on peacekeeping missions and political missions.

Back in May

The Ticinese has announced that he will return regularly to the Council in the next two years.

He is due to lead a ministerial debate in May with the probable theme of new threats in terms of peace and security, under the Swiss presidency. After his speech, Ignazio Cassis was to meet his American counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington.


Ignazio Cassis attacks Russia during his first participation in the Security Council