Development cooperation contributes to the reduction of poverty, which is regarded as one of the causes of global instability and insecurity, degradation of the environment, population growth and migration. By promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law, development cooperation helps to ensure peace and relieve tensions.
In view of inequalities between rich and poor, it is the expression of a vital sense of solidarity with the world's poorest people.
The goals of the regional development cooperation
The objectivies of international cooperation with the countries of the South are set down in medium-term cooperation strategies (five-year periods). The objectives are as follows:
To safeguard and maintain peace and security, promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law:
- to promote "good governance"
- to promote human rights, the rule of law and the process of democratization by effective measures
- to signal conflicting objectives
- to develop international legal aid
- to reduce excessive military expenditures by developing countries
- to reestablish and safeguard peace
To promote prosperity:
- to improve the basic conditions for the sustainable development of developing countries
- to promote the private sector in developing countries
- to facilitate access to markets of the North for the products of developing countries
To improve social justice
- to combat poverty and promote social justice
- to slow demographic growth
- to promote humanitarian aid which is coherent and properly coordinated internationally
To protect the natural environment
- to formulate a model of sustainable development in Switzerland
- to promote understanding of the importance of sustainable development internationally
- to harmonize environment, trade and development policies
- to develop coherent economic, trade, foreign and development policies at the multilateral level
Depending on the availability of the necessary expertise, implementation is either in the hands of the SDC itself, Swiss and international organizations, local aid groups, authorized companies and consultants.
Bilateral development cooperation, which refers to one partner helping another, and multilateral development cooperation complement each other.
In the face of global challenges, it is also an essential instrument for safeguarding Switzerland's long-term interests and security.