Federal Council adopts Switzerland's negotiating mandate on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Press release, 14.01.2015

Since 2012, the United Nations and its member states have been working on a new universal agenda for global sustainable development to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire at the end of 2015. On 14 January 2015, the Federal Council gave the mandate to the Swiss delegation to take part in the intergovernmental negotiations. The UN member states will negotiate the new goals, their implementation and financing until July 2015 in New York, culminating in the adoption of the new agenda for sustainable development by heads of state and government at a summit meeting on 25–27 September 2015.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by the end of 2015 were defined in 2000. During the last 15 years they have made a decisive contribution to focusing international development cooperation, strengthening accountability and mobilising worldwide support. At the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012, the decision was taken to produce a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to succeed the MDGs after 2015 ("post-2015"). As of 2015, combating poverty and sustainable development will be approached within an overall framework with common priorities and objectives. The new framework for post-2015 sustainable development will be adopted at a summit meeting of heads of state and government in September 2015. Switzerland has actively participated from the beginning in the process to define the new agenda.

The intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 agenda will take place from January until July 2015. The Swiss delegation, which will be headed by Ambassador Michael Gerber, special representative for global sustainable development, will present the principal positions of the Federal Council's mandate at the negotiations and negotiate their inclusion in the final document.

Switzerland is committed to a comprehensive, global agenda for sustainable development with universally applicable goals until 2030 to make it possible to achieve sustainable development and the elimination of extreme poverty while taking into account the Earth's environmental limits, the promotion of peace and inclusive societies, and the fulfilment of human rights obligations. In particular Switzerland is committed to independent objectives in the areas of water, health, gender equality as well as sustainable peace and inclusive societies. Furthermore, the sustainability of consumption and production, disaster risk reduction and aspects of migration should also be considered when setting the agenda.

In addition, Switzerland aims to ensure that the implementation, financing and performance measurement of the agenda are specifically defined during the negotiations. To review progress Switzerland wants to see the creation of a strong framework for monitoring and ensuring accountability. Financing questions will be dealt with in the specific negotiations on Financing for Sustainable Development which will be concluded in July 2015 with a ministerial conference in Ethiopia.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs