On 14 October 2020 the Federal Council adopted a specific strategy for the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA Strategy) for the 2021–24 period. It identifies five thematic priorities: peace, security and human rights; migration and protection of people in need; sustainable development; economic affairs, finance, science; and digitalisation and new technologies.
These priorities are weighted differently across the various regions and countries. Switzerland's three priority thematic areas for the Near East region are armed and political conflicts, economic development and governance. Switzerland is also addressing the needs of young people by promoting the development of vocational training, thus facilitating access to the labour market.
Foreign policy priorities for the MENA region
Switzerland's priorities in the occupied Palestinian territory
The MENA Strategy identifies the following priorities for Switzerland in the occupied Palestinian territory:
1. Peace, security and human rights
Switzerland offers its good offices for an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and an intra-Palestinian dialogue. It also aims to improve the rule of law, governance and respect for international law through well functioning Palestinian institutions.
Switzerland's position on the Middle East conflict
2. Migration and protection of people in need
Switzerland assists local authorities in providing essential services to communities in need, for example water supply services in the Gaza Strip, and in meeting the food and education needs of Palestinian refugees.A new cooperation programme for the period 2021–24 is currently being drawn up and will be published shortly.
3. Sustainable development
Switzerland is committed to increasing communities' resilience to reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid.
4. Digitalisation and new technologies
Switzerland seeks to work with the private sector to create prospects, jobs and income opportunities for young people, primarily in the new technologies sector.