All departments of the Confederation contribute in their own way to sustainable development. In this respect, the aim of Switzerland's foreign relations is to be as ecologically, economically and socially coherent as possible and thereby to make international cooperation more effective.
The Federal Council has identified a potential need for coordination in the following areas:
- Migration policy
- Agricultural policy
- Environmental policy
- Health policy
- Financial sector policy
- Security policy
- Education, research and cultural policy
Potential conflicts of objectives and interests between Swiss international cooperation and the sectoral policies of the various federal departments are to be identified and resolved as far as possible. The SDC carries out its own analyses and commissions external studies to identify connections and areas of tension with regard to coherence in development and sectoral policies. It thereby contributes to political processes and to the preparation, implementation and assessment of individual measures and public debate.
Five Swiss priorities
Switzerland takes a five-pronged approach to improving policy coherence:
- Through its membership of international organisations, it promotes the adoption and enforcement of binding global rules for sustainable development.
- Within the framework of bilateral relations, it makes every effort to ensure that all development programmes and projects co-financed by the Confederation are consistent with the goals of sustainable global development.
- It is directly involved on the ground in partner countries to help formulate national policies that promote development.
- It makes every effort to ensure that its own sectoral policies are consistent with global sustainable development.
- Switzerland's commitment to development is also useful for representing Swiss interests in other sectoral policies