Switzerland admitted as 190th member of United Nations

Switzerland admitted as 190th member of United Nations

Kofi Annan with Switzerland President Villiger and FM Deiss
Opening its fifty-seventh annual session, the United Nations General Assembly today voted to accept Switzerland as the organization’s 190th member.

During a ceremony to raise the Swiss flag outside UN Headquarters in New York, Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised Switzerland for embodying what the United Nations stands for - a peaceful and multicultural society built on strong democratic traditions - and noted the country's active and generous participation in the wider UN family.

"You bring to us invaluable experience and know-how in areas at the forefront of the UN agenda," Mr. Annan said in his remarks at the flag raising, which also included the participation of Kaspar Villiger, President of the Swiss Confederation, and Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss. "From today, your entry as a full member enables you to make your voice heard across the full range of our work. I, for one, very much look forward to hearing it."

In Geneva, which hosts the UN's European headquarters, a number of events were scheduled to mark Switzerland's membership, including an exhibition by Swiss painter Hans Erni at the Palais des Nations.