Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF.Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development.
Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world.
In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office.
Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation; it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002.
Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era.
Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately eight million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy.On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union or the European Economic Area.However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.