Once a year, the Swiss Federal President has the opportunity to address his words to the whole world: every September in the UN general debate. Guy Parmelin takes this opportunity to promote Switzerland’s new candidacy for the UN Security Council. But he did it discreetly in good Swiss practice.
Parmelin is reminiscent of its rural roots
The Federal President’s speech was much shorter than almost all other heads of state and government. And above all, he expressed himself far more personally. He began with the sentence: “For most of my professional life I have been a winemaker.”
Viticulture has taught him passion, tenacity and trust. A winemaker always had to be prepared for frost or storms to suddenly break in on the vines, which have been carefully tended for a long time – just as destructively as the corona pandemic has now struck mankind. The lesson, according to Parmelin, in one case as in the other: recognize crises before they occur. Prepare for it. And fight their effects in solidarity.
Parmelin therefore called on the world community to show solidarity, to think more long-term and, in view of the current enormous political tensions around the world, to intensify dialogue. With Geneva, Switzerland offers an ideal platform for this.
Dialogue platform Geneva
The Federal Council wants to carry this spirit of Geneva, the spirit of dialogue, into the most powerful UN body – the Security Council. This is the first time that Switzerland is running for this. The election in the General Assembly will take place next June. Parmelin Warb also with his simultaneous reference to this candidacy. He did it unobtrusively and accordingly sympathetically.
Fighting pandemics, climate change, digitization, the search for peace – these are currently the major global challenges from a Swiss perspective. That pays off for the Security Council, but also for all other bodies of the world organization.
Parmelin’s rather unusual UN speech ended with the appeal: It is worthwhile and necessary to cultivate a world worth living in – as he once learned to do for his vines. An unusual linguistic image in the great hall of the UN General Assembly. One that stood out in a beneficial way, some of the content feared scare-mongering or sometimes even aggressive agitating speeches, which can also be heard this week in the general debate.
UN and diplomatic correspondent for SRF