Chairman of the NATO Military Committee visits Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross
The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach visited Switzerland on 13 and14 October 2020. During the visit, he met with the Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Thomas Süssli, toured the Spiez laboratory, the Swiss Federal Institute for NBC-Protection, and the Air Force Operations Centre in Dübendorf. Air Chief Marshal Peach also met with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, H.E. Ambassador Peter Maurer.
Air Chief Marshal Peach’s trip began with a visit to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) where he met with its President, H.E. Ambassador Peter Maurer. The Chairman highlighted the important and vital work the organisation is doing all around the world but especially, in areas of ongoing-armed conflicts. “NATO and the ICRC share the same values - freedom, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. This is the basis of our cooperation. We also continue to benefit from the ICRC’s extensive experience through their participation in NATO exercises and training events”, he added.
Later in the day, Air Chief Marshal Peach met with the Chief of Swiss Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Thomas Süssli to discuss the current security environment, the Armed Forces’ response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as how to enhance the cooperation between NATO and Switzerland. The Chairman commended the Chief of Defence for Switzerland’s contributions to NATO. “We are extremely grateful to Switzerland for being one of NATO’s most reliable partners. Your nation provides troops to our Kosovo mission and until last week the role of the Deputy Commander was held by Brigadier General Laurent Michaud from the Swiss Armed Forces. Your contributions are vital to enhance peace and security in our common neighbourhoods and beyond”, emphasised the Air Chief Marshal.
On the 14th of October, the programme started with a visit to the Spiez Laboratory, the Swiss Federal Institute for NBC-Protection, which provides support relating to arms control, protection measures, health and incident management for international organisations, authorities and the general population. Air Chief Marshal Peach underlined how “expert facilities like this one contribute scientifically to peace support and to the safety of humans and the environment. Switzerland is an active NATO partner and your experts work with NATO to shape our policies on human security and the protection of women, children, and civilians in combat. This benefits us all”.
The visit ended with a tour of the Air Force Operations Centre in Dübendorf, which hosts a unique workshop where specialists repair, maintain and develop equipment for professional groups such as military pilots and parascouts.