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They are not limited to a specific area. The traditional distinction between internal and external threats is thus no longer meaningful. Events that take place in a far-off country – such as armed conflict – can lead to worldwide instability which also affects Switzerland.
International developments have therefore resulted in an expansion of the term “security”. “Human security” places the security of the individual as opposed to the security of the state at the centre of attention. The aim is to protect people from political force, war and random acts.
The nature and complexity of the current challenges require increased national and international cooperation. No member of the international community, however large, is able to guarantee its own security and that of its people on its own.
For Switzerland this means working together with other countries at the international level with instruments that are available at the national level. These include:
- foreign policy
- security policy
- peace, human rights and humanitarian policy
- development policy
A combination of these instruments is brought to bear in the fight against terrorism, which calls for both legislative changes and measures in the financial sector. At the same time, however, it is necessary to address the causes. There is no security without economic development, respect for human rights, protection of natural resources and an assurance that justice will prevail.
Switzerland’s security policy as approved by the Federal Council in 2000 was formulated under the slogan “Security through cooperation”.
On this basis, Switzerland is stepping up its commitment to peace and international stability.
It is active in the following multilateral security organizations:
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),
- Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council/Partnership for Peace (EAPC/PfP),
- Organizations of the United Nations (UN)
It is steadily expanding its commitment to international civil and military peace-keeping missions.
It endeavours to develop and strengthen the existing international mechanisms in the following areas:
- Combating weapons of mass destruction
- Illegal trade in small arms and light weaponry
- Financing of terrorism
It is strengthening its commitment in the domain of nuclear disarmament. To this end, an interdepartmental Task Force has been created.
Together with other states it acts to ensure “human security”.