The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN 1948) provides that all people are born free and equal and they must treat each other in a spirit of brotherhood. It stipulates the right for every person to a standard of living, including food, clothing, housing, medical services and the necessary social services adequate for the health and welfare of himself and of his family, and the right of mothers and children to special protection and assistance.

There is poverty in all the countries of the world. However, there are countries that have the ability to help, and there are countries that need this help more than others. Latvia has gradually drawn closer to the group of developed countries and in the area of human development Latvia is among the 45 most developed countries of the 177 countries assessed by the UN. It is possible that the other developing countries need specifically our help. The goal of development cooperation is to provide assistance to poor and less developed countries by promoting their long-term social and economic human development, ensuring peace and security in the world. These basic principles of this policy are based on universal values as provided in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Millennium Declaration and other UN declarations: Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002), International Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey 2002), International Conference on Population & Development (Cairo 1994).

In term "development cooperation" word "development" determine the aim of assistance, but "cooperation" donors and organization cooperation with beneficiaries, mutually to come to agreement about development aims and tasks as well as both parts duties and responsibilities. ("UNDP Latvijā, 1992-2005: ieguldījums tautas attīstībā").

The development cooperation involves not only governmental institutions and their representatives but also representatives of the private sector and society as a whole, by making their contribution to reducing poverty in the world.

Main definitions