The Swiss government is worried over the rising crime rate in Geneva, especially after the son of an American UN diplomat was attacked.
AFP reported Monday that the Swiss government was “preoccupied” by the security situation in Geneva, saying in a statement “The federal department of foreign affairs is worried about the deteriorating security situation in Geneva.”
Swiss media have been fretting over an internal United Nations email distributed on July 21 after the attack on the son of the diplomat.
The UN urged its staff to remain cautious when going about town, saying, “All staff are advised to exercise caution and prudence when out in the evening or early morning hours in downtown Geneva.”
Local media reported that the assailants severely beat their victim before unsuccessfully attempting to throw him into the river Rhone.
In a press release it issued Monday, the department of foreign affairs did not refer to the assault but said the presence of international organizations in Geneva constituted a “pillar” of Switzerland’s foreign policy, adding the safety of the city was a top priority for the UN and diplomatic missions.
The statement added that Switzerland’s minister of foreign affairs, Micheline Calmy-Rey, would be meeting with Geneva authorities on September 12.
Meanwhile, UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci told AFP on Monday that the internal email was more of a “general warning” to its staff, adding that it “does not affect the excellent relations between our institution and Geneva.”
AFP noted that Geneva ranked as the third most livable city in the world in 2011. It is also the European headquarters and second biggest centre for the UN after New York.