Dear Friends of Switzerland, Sawasdee Krub
Today we celebrate the 732nd anniversary of the Swiss Confederation. The date refers to a historic treaty concluded in 1291 by the three founding cantons of the Swiss Confederation, namely, Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. The people of these three valleys in the heart of the Swiss Alps agreed to stand together and to sort out their disputes peacefully. This pact turned out to be the alliance around which Switzerland was built, “bottom up” rather than “top down”. The Swiss National Day commemorates a medieval contract with a rules-based order in the heart of Europe.
175 years ago, following a short civil war, Switzerland adopted its modern federal constitution. The decentralized structure of the Swiss Confederation, its fundamental democratic principles and the guarantee of individual freedoms have been upheld on our territory without interruption since 1848. We are deeply grateful for that. We believe that our respect for these rules is the main factor for the lasting peaceful coexistence of the different linguistic and religious communities in Switzerland, and for the steady evolution of our country.
Today, there is an international rules-based order that needs to be protected and developed, above all in the only global diplomatic framework we have, the United Nations. In 2002, the Swiss people decided to join the UN. As a current member of the UN Security Council (2023-2024) for the first time, Switzerland is further strengthening its engagement for international peace and prosperity for all.
Successful cooperation on a global level is based on close human connections. Switzerland and Thailand share a long history of excellent relations and friendship. In 1897, His Majesty King Rama V was the first King of Thailand to visit Switzerland. In 1931, a treaty of friendship between Switzerland and Thailand marked the beginning of full diplomatic relations. The relationship of the Thai Royal family with Switzerland has remained particularly strong. His Majesty King Rama IX spent almost two decades in Lausanne and maintained strong links to Switzerland throughout his life.
The political, economic and social exchange between our two countries has been growing ever since. Today, our relations are rich, dynamic and well established. Celebrating Switzerland’s birthday today, the Swiss government and the Swiss people back home, as well as the large Swiss community here in Thailand, are committed to build on the close relations that exist between our two countries and to further develop them.
Happy Swiss National Day!
HE Pedro Zwahlen
Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kingdom of Thailand