The Federal Political Affairs Section is the SDC's centre of expertise for Federal Council and parliamentary business related to development policy. Coming under the Staff Office of the Directorate, it functions as an interface between the SDC and the General Secretariat of the FDFA, the other directorates of the FDFA, other federal departments and offices, the Federal Chancellery and the Parliamentary Services.
It plans, coordinates and drafts Federal Council business relating to the SDC, takes the lead on drafting responses to parliamentary procedural requests which fall within the remit of the SDC, prepares speaking notes and background documents for the head of department and SDC senior management for meetings of parliamentary committees and for parliamentary sessions, and assists the senior management in preparing information meetings and parliamentary committee visits.
On behalf of the SDC, the section drafts position papers on Federal Council and parliamentary business of other federal offices when it relates to development policy, in particular in the context of interdepartmental consultations, thereby making an important contribution to policy coherence for sustainable development. It coordinates and drafts these position papers, taking into account Switzerland's strategic objectives for international cooperation and the positions of the SDC's senior management, the General Secretariat and the head of the FDFA.
In all of these tasks, the section relies on input from the relevant divisions, contributing to the quality of the content, to concise and targeted formulation in the decision-making process, and to coherence with other SDC positions.
It also actively contributes to a coherent development policy by preparing and organising the meetings of the Interdepartmental Committee for International Development and Cooperation (ICIDC). Finally, the section supports the SDC's senior management in maintaining contacts with political decision-makers.