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As set out in the Federal Council's mandate, SECO actively participates in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, promoting human security and mitigating systemic risks as well as shaping pro-development globalisation.
Switzerland's development policy is enshrined in the Federal Constitution and its foreign policy objectives. In particular, the Federal Constitution provides that Switzerland "shall contribute, among other things, to giving relief to populations in need and to fighting poverty as well as promoting the respect for human rights, democracy, peaceful coexistence between peoples and the conservation of natural resources." (Art. 54 (2) of the Swiss Constitution). This mandate is specified in more detail in the 2009 report on foreign policy, which sets the following priorities:
SECO plays an active part in realising these priorities. The main priority is to promote economically, ecologically and socially sustainable growth that will create jobs, encourage productivity and contribute to reduced poverty and inequality. This can be achieved by integrating partner countries in the global economy and by strengthening the competitive abilities of domestic economies. The focus is on support measures for low-income developing countries that are committed to a serious and effective reform process.
To implement these goals, SECO considers, among others, the issue of effectiveness in development cooperation.
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