Switzerland works at the multilateral level to eradicate poverty and save lives. This engagement is complementary to the bilateral aid Switzerland provides to partner countries. Its involvement in the multilateral system also furthers the central concerns of Switzerland's development and humanitarian aid policy.
Not all organisations are of equal importance in terms of operational activity and political decisions. It is crucial for Switzerland to maintain relations with the most important organisations in the area of development, both within the UN system and with the Bretton Woods institutions (e.g. the United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] and the World Bank), through financial contributions and political dialogue. Other factors are also important. The priority organisations are selected based on four criteria:
1. Switzerland's economic and foreign policy interests
2. relevance for Switzerland's development policy
3. results achieved by the organisations
4. potential to influence policy and strategies within the organisations concerned