Following a referendum in March 2002, Switzerland became on 10 September 2002 the 190th Member State of the United Nations. Before joining as a full member, the Host Country was a Permanent Observer to the Organization, as well as an active member of many of its specialized agencies, programmes, funds, and the Conference on Disarmament.
The relationship between the United Nations and Switzerland is governed by the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations concluded on 19 April 1946. For further information on the Host Country Agreement, please refer to the section devoted to the Legal Liaison under the Chapter on the Director-General (follow the link).
With the Office of the Director-General as the central interlocutor, UNOG maintains close and constructive relations with the Swiss authorities at both federal and cantonal levels. The Director-General of UNOG regularly meets with the appropriate Swiss authorities to review matters of mutual concern. Many questions relate to the Host Country Agreement. These include the status of the Organization and its staff; the application of international agreements relating to privileges and immunities both of the United Nations and of diplomatic missions accredited to it; security matters; the planning and design of the physical conditions for international organizations; and joint activities in the cultural and social fields.
Matters relating to the Host Country Agreement are also addressed by the Diplomatic Committee, which includes a representative of the Host Country. For further information, please refer to the section devoted to the Diplomatic Committee under the Chapter on the Permanent Missions (follow the link).