Strategic objectives

Goals, levels of impact and partnerships

Climate change threatens to push 100 million people into extreme poverty between now and 2030.
Climate change threatens to push 100 million people into extreme poverty between now and 2030. © A. Ishokon

Switzerland's international cooperation 2017–2020 is geared towards seven strategic objectives, takes places on three levels and involves networking with many partners.

Switzerland's international cooperation is based on experience and expertise that is world renowned. It is guided by the following seven objectives:

  1. Contribute to the development of an international framework for responding to global challenges
  2. Prevent and manage the consequences of crisis and disaster, and of fragility; promote conflict transformation
  3. Support sustainable access to resources and services for all
  4. Promote sustainable economic growth
  5. Strengthen the rule of law and democratic participation; support institutions serving society and the economy
  6. Ensure respect for human rights and fundamental liberties, and support efforts to advance their cause
  7. Strengthen gender equality and the rights of women and girls


Switzerland has at its disposal a wide range of policy instruments that can be combined with, complement and mutually reinforce one another. This makes it possible for Switzerland to respond actively to current challenges.

It works at three levels: 

  1. Operational level Implementing projects and programmes
  2. Political dialogue Engaging in dialogue with other governments on their reform programmes and policies
  3. Multilateral level Influencing international dialogue and policies through participation within key international organisations

Diverse partnerships

Switzerland conducts its international development activities by networking with many partners. These include the local populations and governments of recipient countries, multilateral organisations, Swiss, international and local NGOs, universities and research institutions, companies from the private sector based in Switzerland or abroad, other donors, cantons and communes. 

Migration: an inter-departmental collaboration

The SDC, SECO, the HSD and the State Secretariat for Migration work closely to support the countries of North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Balkans in the area of migration. These regions are both places of transit and origin of migrants. The objective of the foreign policy on migration is to contribute to the creation of framework conditions that enable migration to happen in a safe and regular manner. This should lead to a reduction in irregular migration and allow migrants to make use of their rights and fulfil their obligations. Besides programmes that assist migrants in returning to their home countries, Switzerland also addresses the root causes of irregular migration. In particular through its long-term efforts towards the peaceful resolution of conflicts, supporting democratic transition processes, improving living conditions in the home countries and promoting job creation.