MIL-OSI Europe: Summit on Peace in Ukraine: state of preparations and security measures

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Source: Switzerland – Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport

Bern, 10.06.2024 – 90 states and organisations have so far registered to attend the summit on peace in Ukraine at the Bürgenstock (NW) on 15/16 June. The aim of the high-level meeting of heads of state and government is to develop a common understanding for a possible path towards a just and lasting peace in Ukraine. This will then form the basis for a peace process. On 10 June, President Viola Amherd, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and Nidwalden Cantonal Councillor Karin Kayser-Frutschi, together with Stephan Grieder, head of operations and chief of the Nidwalden Cantonal Police, and Major General Daniel Keller, Commander of Territorial Division 2, gave a briefing on the state of preparations and security measures.

This weekend, ideas and visions for a process towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine will be discussed high above Lake Lucerne. 90 states and organisations will take part in the summit on peace in Ukraine at the Bürgenstock resort. Around half of the states come from Europe, the other half from other continents. “The broadest possible participation is important in order to be able to initiate a broadly backed process. The fact that so many states are sending such high-ranking delegations shows that it was right to initiate a broadly backed process,” said President Viola Amherd in Bern.

The overarching objective of the summit is to inspire a future peace process. To achieve this, the summit intends to:

•    Provide a platform for dialogue on ways towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine based on international law and the UN Charter;
•    Promote a common understanding of a possible framework to reach this goal;
•    Jointly define a roadmap on how to involve both parties in a future peace process.

Doing nothing is not an option

Although war is still being waged in Ukraine, Switzerland declared in January that it was willing to organise a conference for peace. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis made it clear to the media that doing nothing was not an option. “We believe that there is always room for dialogue, even if weapons are being fired,” he said. The summit at the Bürgenstock resort is a conference for peace, not a peace conference, but the preparations alone have triggered a positive dynamic.

The summit will begin with a plenary session on the afternoon of 15 June. On 16 June, three topics of global interest that affect a large number of states will be discussed in detail in working groups: (1) nuclear safety, (2) freedom of navigation and food security, and (3) humanitarian aspects. A final declaration is also being prepared for the conclusion of the conference.

Canton of Nidwalden has operational lead on security arrangements

As the host canton, Nidwalden is responsible for security in the run up to and during the conference. “Our top priority is to ensure the protection of summit participants and make sure that the public feels safe,” said Karin Kayser-Frutschi, Director of Nidwalden’s Justice and Security Department. The canton is reliant on the support of additional police forces, the armed forces, the Federal Office of Police fedpol and other partners in the national security network. “Cooperation with all parties involved is based on partnership and is goal-oriented,” explained Karin Kayser-Frutschi.

The security and surveillance measures affect both the site in the form of a security perimeter around the Bürgenstock resort and restrictions on movements on the lake and in the air. Measures regarding airspace have been closely coordinated with the federal government, which has issued the necessary decrees.

Restrictions for the local population are unavoidable due to the security requirements for summit participants protected under international law, but the duration and extent are proportionate in the view of those responsible for security. Residents will still be allowed to access the security zone even during the summit, for example. For tactical reasons, no information will be provided on security arrangements or the number of security personnel deployed.

Information for the public regarding restrictions can be found at www.nw.ch/friedenskonferenz.

Up to 4,000 members of the armed forces on duty to ensure security

The Swiss Armed Forces are supporting the security measures for the summit by deploying up to 4,000 military personnel to provide subsidiary support services. They will protect important and critical infrastructure, provide air transport, aerial reconnaissance, as well as air operations, conduct surveillance and interventions on the lakes, as well as logistics and command support. The armed forces’ logistical services include around 6.5km of fencing and 8km of steel wire, around 100 vehicles for the police and additional special vehicles to transport persons protected under international law, around 2km of trackway and various lighting equipment.

The air force is reinforcing its air policing service and is providing advanced air surveillance and air transport for persons protected under international law. The armed forces have set up a heliport in Obbürgen NW for its operations. Five helicopters can take off and land here.


Address for enquiries

DDPS Communications: kommunikation@gs-vbs.admin.ch, +41 58 464 50 58
FDFA Communications: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch, Tel. +41 58 460 55 55
Nidwalden Cantonal Police Communications: medien.kapo@nw.ch, +41 41 248 80 18
Defence Communications: media@vtg.admin.ch, +41 58 464 48 08


Publisher

Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports
http://www.vbs.admin.ch

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