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Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation (Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin, hence its ISO country codes CH and CHE), is a federal republic consisting of26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe where it is bordered byGermany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.

Switzerland is a landlocked country whose territory is geographically divided between the Alps, the Central Plateau and the Jura that yields a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). The Swiss population of approximately 7.7 million people concentrates mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found. Among them are the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich andGeneva. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product, with a nominal per capita GDP of $67,384. Zürich and Geneva have respectively been ranked as having the second and third highest quality of life in the world.

The Swiss Confederation has a long history of neutrality—it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815—and was one of the last countries to join the United Nations. Switzerland is home to many international organisations, including the World Economic Forum, the International Olympic Committee, the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization and the second largest UN office. On the European level it was a founder of ...

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