Yazidi survivors come to the border near Roboski with the help of PYD and PKK. Old people are transported by car and people who cross the border are being placed in Roboski and around.  | © KEYSTONE/NAR PHOTOS/Yasin Akgul

International Policy

Switzerland’s own wealth and the huge gap between North and South oblige it to show solidarity with the poor and disadvantaged people in developing countries. This is how it should lead the way in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Three challenges require special attention: poverty and exclusion, migration and flight, and climate change. At the same time, as a leading offshore financial center, as the foremost hub of the global commodity trade and as home of a great many transnational corporations’ headquarters, Switzerland has a special responsibility on the road to a sustainable global trading, finance and tax system. Companies domiciled here can avoid taxation in the countries in which they make their profits and benefit from very low tax rates in Switzerland. In foreign trade, Switzerland is still pursuing a free trade strategy guided by its own interests.

Our demands on the Federal Council

Helvetas expects the Swiss Federal Council to commit to multilateral trade that respect human rights and integrate international environmental standards. Bilateral free trade agreements between Switzerland and a developing country must not have any negative effects on people affected by poverty. Own protectionism to the detriment of developing countries must be excluded. Furthermore, the Federal Council is to make Switzerland’s foreign tax policy transparent and fair.

UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals set forth in 2015 in the UN 2030 Agenda are guidelines for international cooperation. You can find out more about those goals here.

Climate and Development

The effects of climate change are particularly severe in developing countries. Helvetas therefore calls for consistent implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Migration and Displacement

Migration as a consequence of poverty, violence, persecution and/or climate change is a critical factor of development in the world’s poorest countries.

More information