Staff Reporter

Ambassador stresses role of small States in modern world

KOTTAYAM: Ambassador of Switzerland to India Dominique Dreyer on Friday laid stress on the role small states had to play in a fast-changing modern world.

He was delivering the fourth Diplomat Lecture, organised by the School of International Relations and Politics at Mahatma Gandhi University, here.

Though the basic principle of international law was equality of sovereign states, whether this agreed with the principle of democracy and whether small states had a role to play in the modern world had to be looked at closely, Mr. Dreyer said.

It was here that some lessons could be drawn from the unique features of the Swiss model, he said.

Switzerland's political institutions, its concept of direct democracy, its federal system and its democracy through referendum were unique, Mr. Dreyer said.

Though one of the smallest states in Europe, it had promoted some concepts widely recognised the world over, especially the idea of neutrality, he said. The nation, situated in the heart of Europe, had a long history of democracy and had developed all the main intellectual, political and cultural trends that had forged the Europe as it is known today, Mr. Dreyer said.

K.K. Unuskutty, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University, presided.