Swiss International Commitment
8 January 2020
The Red Cross (1863) and shortly thereafter the arbitration procedure known as “Alabama” (1872) were the beginning of the international diplomacy and role of Switzerland and Geneva in particular.
The neutrality of the Red Cross is also based on the neutrality of Switzerland.
The two emblems, the red and the white cross, illustrate this connection. The Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) express the country’s message.
The League of Nations in Geneva was dissolved at the end of the Second World War. The European headquarters of the United Nations is still in Geneva, however.
The American President Woodrow Wilson already declared on 10 April 1919:
“Moreover, the Swiss are a people who have committed themselves in their constitution to absolute neutrality, but this is also based on the nature of the country, which is made up of different elements, races and languages. Thus Switzerland is predestined to serve as a meeting place for other peoples who wish to work for peace and cooperation”.
(Source: F.Ch. Pictet, ´Charles Pictet de Rochemont and the accession of Geneva to Eidgenossenschaft´ in T. Kaestli (ed.), Nach Napoleon. Die Restauration, der Wiener Kongress und die Zukunft der Schweiz 1813-1815, Baden 2016).