Laid out nice and neat: Swiss foreign policy

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – I’m going to do something unusual here, recommend that you read a government paper, the Swiss foreign minister’s paper on his country’s appproach to foreign policy. You don’t have to be a member of his party (you probably can’t even name him, much less his party, right?) to appreciate that there is a coherent plan here that’s well thought out, practical and practicable.

Switzerland mostly baffles people outside the country, and that includes politicians from elsewhere. If you believe all the clichés, the place should not really be working as well as it obviously does. Unemployment, GDP, crime, even bilateral relations when you examine them closely, are in pretty good shape. And while everyone loves to say other governments are about to stomp on the Swiss for banking secrecy, for the most part other governments and Switzerland get on remarkably well.

It’s also worth noting that Didier Burkhalter, Swiss foreign minister, is at ease speaking English.

He gave this paper at the opening session of the International Security Forum in Geneva.