Presentation Document of Switzerland
for the Partnership for Peace
Objectives of a Swiss participation
Conformity with the Foreign and Security Policy of Switzerland
Areas of priority for Swiss participation in the Partnership for Peace
Means and activities
The Heads of State and Government of the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have, at their summit meeting of 10/11 January 1994 in Brussels, launched the Partnership for Peace. They invited the member states of the North Atlantic Co-operation Council and other OSCE states, willing and able to contribute to this Partnership for Peace, to take part therein.
Switzerland has taken note of this invitation and decided to participate in the Partnership for Peace.
Switzerland is committed to permanent and armed neutrality. It has no intention to abandon its neutrality and does not desire to become member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Switzerland's decision to participate in the Partnership for Peace is based on the desire to expand its co-operation for the promotion of security and peace with partner states, along the lines and in the spirit of its traditional policy of good offices and complementary to its engagement in the OSCE and in the Council of Europe.
This decision is based on the recognition that such a participation in the Partnership for Peace is unreservedly compatible with Swiss neutrality. The participation or non-participation in all activities within the Partnership is subject to the sovereign decision of each individual partner. If the Partnership for Peace should - contrary to the documents on which it is based - assume an alliance-like character, Switzerland would have to reserve the option to terminate its participation in the Partnership in order to safeguard the integrity of its neutrality.
- Objectives of a Swiss participation
Switzerland subscribes to, and supports, the values on which the Partnership for Peace is based and which are reaffirmed in paragraph 2 of the Framework Document, namely:
- that stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area can be achieved only through cooperation and common action;
- that the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms and human rights, and safeguarding of freedom, justice, and peace through democracy are fundamental values.
the re-affirmation of existing commitments
- to preserve democratic societies, their freedom from coercion and intimidation, and the maintenance of the principles of international law;
- to conform in good faith to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights; specifically, to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, to respect existing borders and to settle disputes by peaceful means.
and the commitment
- to the Helsinki Final Act and all subsequent CSCE documents and to the fulfilment of the commitments and obligations undertaken in the field of disarmament and arms control.
Switzerland supports all efforts to expand the co-operation between the OSCE states to their mutual benefit and to strengthen democracy, stability and peace in Europe. It considers this Partnership as an effective means to enhance security and stability in the whole of Europe.
- Conformity with the Foreign and Security Policy of Switzerland
The participation of Switzerland in the Partnership for Peace corresponds to the objectives of its foreign policy, in particular to maintain and promote security and peace, human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The participation corresponds also to the objectives of Swiss security policy:
- peace in freedom and independence;
- maintenance of freedom of action;
- protection of the population and its basic needs;
- defence of the national territory;
- contribution to international stability, mainly in Europe.
Finally, participation in the Partnership for Peace fits into the mission assigned to the Swiss armed forces:
- to provide contributions to the promotion of peace;
- to provide contributions to the safeguarding of the means of existence;
- war prevention;
- Areas of priority for Swiss participation in the Partnership for Peace
The priorities of Switzerland in participating in the Partnership for Peace and in supporting its objectives lie in the following areas, where Switzerland has accumulated experience and expertise:
- democratic control of armed forces, civil-military co-operation, armed forces composed of more than one language groups, respect of minority rights and federal structures;
- training in humanitarian international law (especially the Geneva conventions and their additional protocols), its dissemination and strengthening, in particular by fostering compliance with these obligations;
- training in security policy for military officers, diplomats and civil servants from foreign and defence ministries;
- establishment of clusters of expertise in selected areas relevant to security policy;
- training of military observers;
- training in logistics for peace-keeping operations;
- medical services, search and rescue;
- promotion of the free flow of information;
- access to the expertise of the nuclear and chemical protection laboratory of the Swiss armed forces.
In the framework of its participation in the Partnership for Peace Switzerland desires to focus its activities on training courses, seminars, conferences and the exchange of information in these areas.
Switzerland also desires, to the extent deemed to be in its interest, to take part in activities organized by partner states within the framework of the Partnership for Peace and aiming at promoting democracy, peace and stability, as well as the exchange of views regarding the strengthening of security and mutual confidence in the OSCE area. In this regard, the focus is on the following areas:
- general exchange of views on security policy;
- maintenance of peace;
- arms control and the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
- strengthening of humanitarian international law; medical services, search and rescue.
Switzerland is interested to send observers to some activities in which it might decide not take part. It entertains the expectation that participation in partnership activities will also provide it with a better understanding of the work of international staffs.
With respect to exercises the interest of Switzerland is focused on the military dimension of disaster relief, medical services, search and rescue. Switzerland excludes an active participation with troop units in field exercices with a collective defence thrust. All activities in which Switzerland takes part must be compatible with her neutrality,
- Means and activities
Switzerland intends to introduce the following means for, and conduct the following activities in, the Partnership:
- Strengthening of democracy
- In order to strengthen democracy, Switzerland shall offer to partner states its experience and expertise in democratic control of armed forces, civil-military co-operation, armed forces composed of more than one language groups, and respect for minority rights and federal structures. For this purpose it intends to organize in Switzerland training courses for military officers and civil servants of defence ministries These training courses shall have a duration of six weeks and be conducted annually.
- Training, dissemination and strengthening of the international humanitarian law
- Switzerland intends to offer courses, seminars and conferences dealing with this subject to NATO member states and other partner states.
- Training in security policy
- The Geneva Centre for Security Policy conducts training courses in security policy for various target audiences, in particular a course in international security policy for military officers, diplomats and civil servants with a duration of nine months. This course provides thorough knowledge of relevant areas of international security policy, preventive diplomacy, and arms control. Switzerland offers partner states participation in this course. It is being conducted annually (October - June).
In addition there is a three-months course on European security policy, intended in particular for future defence attachés and their key staff as well as other personnel earmarked for a military-diplomatic career. Switzerland offers partner states participation in this course, to be conducted annually (January - March).
- Clusters of expertise in areas relevant to security policy
- Within the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, clusters of expertise shall be established in the following areas: OSCE, arms control, rehabilitation of war- torn societies, and humanitarian law and action. Partner states may take part in all aspects of the activities of these clusters of expertise, contribute their expertise and benefit from the combined knowledge.
- Training of military observers
- Switzerland conducts training courses for military observers and invites partner states to send participants to them.
- Training in logistics for peace-keeping operations
- Switzerland shall conduct training courses for logistics specialists for peace- keeping operations and invites partner states to send participants to them.
- Medical services, search and rescue
- Switzerland desires to enhance its capability for international co-operation in the areas of medical services, search and rescue, especially in areas close to its borders, by taking part in exercises, courses, seminars and conferences an these subjects in the framework of the Partnership for Peace. Switzerland shall also consider conducting similar events in Switzerland and inviting representatives of partner states to participate. It shall support joint planning and the development of common operational concepts for medical services.
- Promotion of the free flow of information
- The uninhibited access to information is a vital precondition for any democratic political process. For this reason Switzerland wants to promote the free flow of unclassified information by electronic means, particularly in the area of security policy. The free flow of information shall benefit governments, parliaments, the media, academic institutions and other audiences interested in peace and stability and thereby contribute to a free and informed debate and political process.
For this purpose, Switzerland intends to support the Centre for Security Policy and Conflict Research at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in developing its respective Internet-accessible data base and in intensifying its co-operation with the Euro-Atlantic Foundation (Brussels). Moreover, Switzerland intends to conduct training courses in this area at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
Switzerland also wants to contribute to the co-operation in the OSCE area among training and research institutions in security policy, especially co-operation aiming at the development and mutual exchange of teaching materials and data bases concerning the promotion of peace, democracy, and stability in Europe and beyond.
- Access to the expertise of the nuclear and chemical protection laboratory of the Swiss armed forces
- Switzerland offers partner states access to the experience and expertise of the nuclear and chemical protection laboratory of the Swiss armed forces as expert facility for inspections and verifications in the area of NBC weapons. Within this mission, the laboratory performs services for verification units appointed by the international community.
Switzerland intends to appoint representatives to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels and to the Partnership Co-ordination Cell in Mons.
The Political Directorate of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Secretariat General of the Federal Military Department are designated as the responsible point of contacts with NATO, its member states and other partner states in the context of the Partnership for Peace.