In May 2003 the Government Bill Shared Responsibility: Sweden's policy for Global Development was handed over to the Swedish Parliament. The Bill presents an overall policy for global development with a common objective for all policy areas. The main theme of the Bill is policy coherence. The Bill also presents a new course and goal for international development cooperation.
In this Bill, the Swedish Government presents a policy for global development, the proposed goal of which is to contribute to equitable and sustainable development. It is proposed that this goal should apply to all policy areas. Trade, agriculture, environment, security, migration and economic policy are examples of areas in which measures shall be devised in such a way as to promote global development. The focus of the Bill is on poor people and poor countries.
The proposal lays a foundation for a coherent and consistent policy in order to contribute to equitable and sustainable development in the world. The policy will also contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
It is proposed that two perspectives permeate all parts of the policy : a rights perspective based on international human rights conventions; and the perspectives of the poor. The content of the policy is formulated with respect to eight central thematic areas and component elements.
The Bill emphasizes the importance of closer collaboration with actors in all sectors of society, in particular public authorities at national level, local authorities, civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private business sector and the trade union movement. The need for increased cooperation in the EU and at the global level is emphasized.
International development cooperation that is financed through development assistance allocations is dealt with in a specific section. The Bill proposes that the goal of Swedens development cooperation will be to contribute to an environment supportive of poor people's own efforts to improve their quality of life. It also proposes that cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe should be merged with international development cooperation. Development cooperation will be made more effective and efficient, inter alia, through closer collaboration and increased coordination with other countries, particularly within the EU, and with multilateral agencies.
Finally, the Bill deals with issues of management, administration and learning within the framework of the policy for global development.
The Government will present an annual Report to Parliament on outcomes and progress made with regard to implementation of the policy.
Note: This publication is an edited version. The annexes to the Bill, proposals made by the Parliamentary Committee and comments from the organizations asked to consider the proposals are not included in the English translation.