For several years, Switzerland’s Federal Council has been working to align the country closer with NATO. The Swiss Peace Movement (Schweizerische Friedensbewegung – SFB) warns that this process undermines Switzerland’s neutrality and increases the risks of conflict.
These risks escalated recently, when NATO announced its plans to open a “liaison office” on the site of the United Nations in Geneva. The project has already been given initial approval by the Swiss government.
NATO’s reasoning is that the proposed office will allow it to “deepen its exchanges” with the United Nations and other international organizations based in Geneva. It will also put the military alliance in close proximity to a huge number of diplomats from countries throughout the world, making it easier for NATO to interfere in Africa and Asia.
The SFB firmly rejects the plans for a NATO office in Geneva, warning that “the war alliance has repeatedly launched wars that violate international law and is significantly involved in international tensions.
“The Federal Council claims that it is not an official liaison office between NATO and Switzerland. However, this decision gives the NATO warmongers easy access to Switzerland and international organizations located in Switzerland. The office in Geneva will clearly strengthen the NATO lobby in Switzerland and increase its detrimental influence on the United Nations and non-governmental organizations.”
Recent examples of the deepening Swiss-NATO ties include Switzerland joining the NATO Sky Shield project, the announcement of joint military exercises and participating, for the first time ever, in NATO’s North Atlantic Council meeting in March 2023. While a majority of the Swiss people continue to oppose joining NATO, support has steadily increased from under 20 percent in the mid-1990s to over 30 percent now.
The SFB calls for an end to any further rapprochement and cooperation with NATO, and the organizing has been mobilizing support for Swiss neutrality against imperialist wars and aggression.