Since the year 2000, the two Swiss Federal Departments, SDC and SECO, have maintained a joint Cooperation Office in Kyiv. This Swiss Cooperation Office is a part of the Embassy of Switzerland. It plays a key role in the management of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Ukraine as it is responsible for the planning and implementation of the programme, and provides a platform for our partners in Switzerland and Ukraine.
The Cooperation Office employs three Swiss experts (Director, Deputy Director, and Senior Advisor) and ten local programme and administrative staff.
Objectives and their Implementation
The Swiss Cooperation Office coordinates the programme activities within the SDC and SECO cooperation programme in Ukraine with the relevant Ukrainian state authorities and other organisations, as well as with Swiss implementing partners and other donors. The activities in the field of peacebuilding, human rights and dealing with the past are managed by a Human Security Advisor and a National Programme Officer operating within the team of the Embassy of Switzerland.
The mission and the main tasks of the Cooperation Office are:
- Steering, monitoring and reporting about the programme's and the projects’ progress;
- Observing the programme environment, and the development of programme domains and crosscutting initiatives;
- Observing the development of the humanitarian situation in Ukraine and providing emergency aid upon need;
- Promoting the programme development according to the Swiss Cooperation Programme Ukraine 2020-23;
- Leading a policy dialogue with the main partner organisations of the Government of Ukraine;
- Actively participating in donor coordination and donor harmonisation;
- Sustaining representation activities and public relations;
- Supporting and serving projects realized under the aegis of SDC and SECO or implementing direct bilateral interventions;
- Supporting national and international experts and visiting delegations.
The mission of the Human Security Division (HSD) in Ukraine is to contribute to the resolution of the conflict in and around Ukraine through promoting respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, supporting the implementation of the Minsk agreement and strengthening internal cohesion. This includes the creation of dialogue platforms and capacity building of domestic institutions and civil society.
HSD Programme Theory of Change - If relations between conflicting parties are improved through dialogue, human rights and international humanitarian law are better respected and key political processes are more inclusive then a durable resolution of the conflict will be more likely because relationships will change from opponents to partners in problem solving, attitudes from suspicion to trust and behaviours from violent to peaceful.
In the early 1990s Switzerland recognized the newly independent state of Ukraine and since then it has been supporting Ukraine through a number of bilateral and multilateral cooperation projects. In 1997 Switzerland and Ukraine signed a bilateral agreement for technical cooperation, in the framework of which the Swiss Cooperation Office was opened in Kyiv to coordinate assistance programs in Ukraine. Since 2015, the Swiss Cooperation Office operates on behalf of three governmental organizations - the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Human Security Division (HSD), which are part of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), which is a part of the Swiss Federal Department for Economic Affairs.
The Swiss support to Ukraine in 2020 – 23 focuses on four domains: 1) Peace, Protection and Democratic Institutions; 2) Sustainable Cities; 3) Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Competitiveness; and 4) Health. All domains are impacted by the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine: under this Cooperation Programme, activities are further expanded into the east of the country. The average yearly budget of the Swiss Cooperation Program in Ukraine amounts up to CHF 27 million.