Partnerships with foreign governments

The aim of Switzerland's international cooperation is to support partner countries with their own development. Close collaboration at the governmental level and with the local and national administration is central to this.

Switzerland promotes respect for human rights and good governance in projects and programmes and in political dialogue with foreign governments. Switzerland is committed to strengthening the autonomy of the authorities and civil society in partner countries.

Good governance targets the quality of government and public administration and compliance with the obligation to accountability. This requires the judicial authorities to be independent of the state. It implies the existence of the rule of law, a democratic system and fair regulatory framework for both private and public enterprises. Transparency and criminal sanctions for corruption are of vital importance.

Improving living conditions through dialogue with the government

The aim of Switzerland's international cooperation is to improve the living conditions of people in need and in poverty. In many cases, Switzerland gets involved because of the fragile condition of state structures, because human rights are being violated and neither the rule of law nor democracy are a reality. Depending on the situation, Switzerland enters into political dialogue with the government with the aim of bringing about reforms or achieving better economic and social conditions.

For neutral Switzerland, the aim of international cooperation is not to support foreign states or their governments. When choosing partners, the specific circumstances in the individual countries are carefully taken into account. Depending on the context and the usefulness of the measures chosen for the reduction of poverty and sustainable development, Switzerland works with state institutions, with the private sector or with civil society.