The first international police mission took place in Cyprus in 1964 under the aegis of the United Nations (UN). The aim was to prevent a confrontation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. This mission consists of about 60 policemen and policewomen from four different continents and it is still active.
Switzerland has been taking part in international peace promotion operations in the field of public security since the beginning of the 1990s. In October 1992, four Swiss Customs specialists took part in missions by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Their task was to make sure that the sanctions adopted during the different conflicts affecting the region were correctly applied.
Since 1992, the Swiss police have taken part in missions by the OSCE, the UN and the European Union mainly in Europe and in Africa.
Balkans and Africa
The Balkans are a priority area for Swiss cooperation and many nationals from this region are currently living in Switzerland. This is why Switzerland's activity in international police missions is concentrated in this region.
The Swiss police officers are also deployed in Africa, which is often subject to serious crises.