Peace and governance

Through its international cooperation, Switzerland promotes peace and good governance in developing countries. To this end, Switzerland is using the expertise it has developed over the years to strengthen human rights in priority regions, to participate in conflict resolution and prevention, to strengthen public institutions and to increase the participation of civil society and citizens, in order to ensure that public services meet the real needs of the population.

Because of its history and neutrality, Switzerland has a strong legitimacy to support the political processes for conflict prevention and resolution. Switzerland has special expertise in the areas of international humanitarian law and human rights. Its International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 places a special focus on peace, gender equality and good governance.

Strengthening human rights and gender equality

Switzerland's international cooperation is committed to the protection and strengthening of human rights and to the fight against impunity. It supports and participates in commissions of investigation and fact-finding missions and has a rights-based approach to international cooperation. In all its activities, Switzerland's international cooperation promotes gender equality and women's rights.

Peaceful resolution and prevention of conflicts

Regarding its international cooperation activities in peace processes, Switzerland promotes a dialogue that involves all the actors concerned, including all the parties to a conflict, as far as this is possible. It works towards sustainable peace and places particular emphasis on including women in these processes. Switzerland has specific expertise in political processes such as mediation, federalism, ceasefire negotiations, dealing with the past and fighting impunity. It is committed to the prevention of crises and conflicts. Its international cooperation activities therefore include support for free and peaceful elections, restoration of the rule of law, equal participation of women and men, inclusion of minorities and marginalised groups in political processes and the prevention of violent extremism and atrocities.

Good governance

Switzerland fosters good governance in developing countries. This includes democratic values such as civic engagement, transparency and accountability, and the fight against corruption and impunity. Switzerland is committed to systemic changes that lead to partner governments assuming greater responsibility. On the one hand, Switzerland's international cooperation strengthens state institutions so that they can meet the needs of the population and deal with problems that hinder development, namely corruption, clientelism and mismanagement. To this end, it supports the mutual control of powers and public mechanisms for accountability and government oversight. At the same time, it also promotes the participation of the population in decision-making processes and strengthens civil society, which has an important role to play in advocacy, social inclusion and public responsibility.


Brochure: Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 (PDF, 52 Pages, 1.3 MB)

FDFA Human Rights Strategy 2016–19 (PDF, 36 Pages, 285.8 kB, English)

FDFA Strategy on Gender Equality and Women's Rights (PDF, 357.9 kB, English)

Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 (PDF, 92 Pages, 2.2 MB, German)

Leaflet: International Cooperation Strategy 2021–24 (PDF, 8 Pages, 3.5 MB, English)

Report on the results of the consultation on Switzerland's international cooperation 2021–24 (PDF, 25 Pages, 1.0 MB, German)

SDC’s Guidance on Governance (PDF, 44 Pages, 2.8 MB, English)

Flyer: Governance in SDC (PDF, 4 Pages, 748.0 kB, English)