Prof Swaminathan was felicitated as a 'Swiss-Indian Friendship Ambassador' by the President of Switzerland H.E. Doris Leuthard during her visit to India. The felicitation is for select individuals who have contributed to friendly ties between India and Switzerland. The Swiss-Indian Friendship Treaty was signed in August 1948. During the launch event of "70 Years of Swiss Indian Friendship: Connecting Minds - Inspiring the Future 2017/18" in New Delhi on September 1, the President called India a good friend and spoke of the special seven decade partnership between the two countries. She spoke of the many common interests between the two countries and how Switzerland believed in investing in smart Swiss and Indian minds for shaping the future of both countries. Five persons were presented with this honour at a function held in New Delhi on September 1, 2017. Prof Swaminathan has been identified for his work in agriculture, food security and development.The other Swiss-Indian Friendship Ambassadors include Sushil Premchand, Barbara Maim, Matias Echanove and Rahul Srivastava.
In a message for the occasion, Prof Swaminathan, emphasized that peace and non-violence were basic to development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals can be a common binding factor between India and Switzerland.