Multilateral cooperation

Federal Council Ignazio Cassis and Michael Moller, Director of the UN in Geneva, are shaking hands in front of an UN flag.
Switzerland is developing numerous projects in partnership with international organisations and institutions. © UN

Multilateral cooperation is an important element of Swiss development cooperation. Thanks to their long years of experience and considerable resources, multilateral organisations – such as international financial institutions, UN agencies and development banks – make an important contribution to solving problems affecting developing countries worldwide. Some 37% of all Swiss development cooperation funds are disbursed to such organisations in the form of general financial assistance (known as core contributions). Bilateral cooperation accounts for 63%. One fifth of these bilateral funds are used for projects that are directly implemented by multilateral organisations on the ground.

Reasons for providing support

Switzerland’s multilateral engagement also enables it to defend its values and interests by helping to set international standards and agendas. Furthermore, Switzerland’s multilateral cooperation and bilateral cooperation mutually benefit from each other’s experience.

Multilateral organisations

Development banks, UN development organisations and global funds and networks are important pillars of development cooperation, contributing both knowledge and funding. Switzerland’s portfolio of priority partner organisations reflects new global challenges as well as the country’s development priorities.

Forms of cooperation

In its work with multilateral organisations, Switzerland provides expertise, technical support and funding, backed up by continuous policy dialogue to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness.

2030 Agenda: the international community’s global development goals

On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted a new development agenda entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The agenda defines 17 new universal Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

SDC division dedicated to multilateral cooperation

Information on the SDC’s engagement with priority multilateral organisations, specific themes, publications and links.