The Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–2020 sets out the priorities and focal areas which guide Switzerland's development cooperation.
Focal areas and priorities
Switzerland is committed to combating poverty, discrimination, exclusion and vulnerability in its partner countries. The primary objective of such efforts is to create better prospects for the future and to reduce inequality. Switzerland contributes to the search for political solutions to conflicts and promotes respect for human rights.
In the Dispatch 2017–2020 Switzerland focuses its efforts on the following priority areas:
- Increased funding for basic education and vocational training
- Strengthening gender equality and the rights of women and girls
- Economic growth for the benefit of all, and in particular increasing the quality and quantity of jobs available and improving the underlying conditions for economic activity
- Increasing emergency aid in order to better help and protect people affected by crises and disasters, particularly the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons in the Middle East
- Strengthening efforts to promote the resolution of armed conflicts by peaceful means
- Maintaining presence in fragile contexts, with a special emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa
- Playing a pioneering role in areas of global scope, such as food security, climate change and environment, water, migration and international finance and trade
- Strengthening partnerships with the private sector and diversifying sources of funding for sustainable development
- Sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems to reduce the impact of climate change on the poorest and most vulnerable populations
Switzerland's unique position
The world today is more divided than ever. Continued crises, armed conflicts, poverty, violent extremism and ecological devastation have resulted in large numbers of displaced persons across the globe. Switzerland's neutrality, its humanitarian tradition and its know-how place it in a unique position to contribute to the search for political solutions to conflicts, and to promote respect for human rights, the foundation on which peace rests.
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the frame of reference for Switzerland's international cooperation. It was adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 and includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), covering the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development. It addresses current needs while taking into account the needs of future generations.
Activities in sub-Saharan Africa
Both the SDC and the Global Partnership for Education support the education system in Chad, benefiting 70,000 children (43% girls) and 11,000 adults (75% women) in 2015. Poor population groups can develop the basic skills needed to learn a vocational trade and improve their lives.
A reform of the tax system in Ghana, with support from SECO, has made it possible to introduce online income tax declarations and to improve the services provided by the tax administration. Taxpayers are now better informed about their rights and obligations and more aware of the services provided by the tax administration. The number of taxpayers contributing to the financing of public expenses saw a 10% increase between 2010 and 2014.