On Wednesday, the Swiss National Council (lower house of parliament) rejected a proposal by the Council of Cantons (upper house) to change the rules for re-exporting weapons to countries involved in military conflicts.
This was reported by the European Truth.
The initiative was supported by only 48 Swiss deputies of the lower house of parliament, while 135 were against it, mostly deputies from the Left and the far-right Swiss People's Party.
It is an amendment to the law on the re-export of military equipment, which was supported by the Swiss Council of Cantons in June.
According to it, re-export was allowed if the country involved in the conflict exercised the right to self-defense, and such re-export would have a retroactive effect (i.e., it would be considered legal even if it was carried out before the law came into force).
It was also envisaged that the re-export of Swiss weapons from the country that purchased them would be allowed five years after the purchase - but only to those states that "share the values of Switzerland and have a compatible export control regime".
In parallel, the Swiss parliament is developing another bill to amend the law on arms re-export. It will allow re-export if the UN Security Council or two-thirds of the General Assembly members confirm that international law has been violated in relation to the state that receives the weapons.
Author - Olena Madiak, 27/09/2023