On 2 August 2015, the member states of the United Nations reached a consensus on the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (previously referred to as the post-2015 agenda). It will be formally adopted by heads of state and government at the Sustainable Development Summit from 25 to 27 September 2015 in New York.
Over 150 heads of state and government adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at a summit in New York on Friday. The agenda, comprising 17 goals and 169 targets, sets out the priority areas for sustainable development worldwide for the period to 2030. Switzerland was represented at the summit by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, who described the 2030 Agenda as "an extremely promising approach to resolving numerous problems".
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, will represent Switzerland at the UN summit meeting from 25 to 27 September 2015 in New York to adopt the sustainable development goals for the period to 2030. On 28 September, at the opening of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, she will present Switzerland's priorities in the context of the UN for the coming year. Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter will represent Switzerland during this ministerial week in New York at various events on current themes and will hold bilateral talks.
This high-level Summit brought together the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, and the Special Envoy on Global Education, Mr. Gordon Brown. A Swiss delegation participated which was led by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and with the participation of the United Nations and International organizations Division.
On 23 March 2015, a regional consultation on development funding was held by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva. The consultation took place in the run-up to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which will meet from 13 to 16 July 2015 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The aim of the conference is to negotiate a financing framework for the post-2015 development agenda.
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 Federal Council adopted the 'Sustainable Development Strategy 2016–2019' in 2016. It presents a vision of sustainable development and sets out specific goals to be reached by 2030. It also states how Switzerland will contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda during the current legislative period.
Between 30 November and 2 December, more than 150 donor nations and development aid recipients will meet in Nairobi, Kenya, to work out the best way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, and to discuss the principles that make development cooperation more effective and sustainable.
Research and innovation are important factors in reducing poverty and global risks. In collaboration with the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries, the SDC held a second research fair on 9 November in Bern. The 2016 Research Fair was an opportunity for exchange between science, policy, and practice on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The first United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants is taking place on 19 September 2016 in New York and will see the international community adopt joint measures in response to the large movements of refugees and migrants. Switzerland will be focusing in particular on improving protection on the ground, preventing forced displacement and finding sustainable solutions for directly affected populations.
Switzerland is taking part in the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September. Eduard Gnesa, Special Ambassador for International Cooperation on Migration Issues, talks about the challenges facing the international community as a result of the refugee situation.
Bern, 24 August 2016 – The head of the FDFA takes part in the filming of a documentary on child soldiers. Switzerland reaffirms its commitment to the protection of children recruited into armed groups in conflicts.
The international community celebrates World Humanitarian Day on 19 August. To mark the occasion, the SDC pays tribute to its own humanitarian workers. Natacha Pugin and Abdi Kunow work day in day out providing food assistance in the Horn of Africa.
Director Maung Okkar and producer May Zin Myo, both from Myanmar, will be newcomers at the Open Doors section of the Locarno Festival, which is backed by the SDC. This is a chance of a lifetime to meet international professionals from the film world and contribute to the development of contemporary cinema in Myanmar, a country undergoing a transition to democracy.
The World Food Programme is assisting four million people in Syria – the vast majority of them internally displaced – who are struggling to find enough food to feed themselves and their families. The SDC is supporting the WFP in Syria with CHF 1.3 million in 2016 and through the secondment of technical experts, one of whom is coordinating the cash transfer programmes devised by the WFP as an alternative to the direct distribution of food.
Gender equality is one of Switzerland's priority areas in its international cooperation. Switzerland believes the private sector has a key role to play in fostering equality. "Smart economics means empowering women, promoting girls and bringing about gender equality". These were the words of Benno Bättig, Secretary General of the FDFA, in his speech opening a panel discussion with business representatives from all over the world. The event on the role of business in achieving gender equality, which was organised by the UN Global Compact and UN Women as a side event at the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), focused on the multiplier effect of women's economic empowerment for sustainable development.
Ambassador Michael Gerber is the special representative of the Federal Council for global sustainable development and represented Switzerland during the intergovernmental negotiations on the 2030 Agenda at the UN. In this interview he explains what the next steps are in terms of implementation and what role the SDC has to play in this.
The 17 goals for sustainable development and 169 targets form the core of the UN's 2030 Agenda. Thomas Gass, speaker at the Annual Swiss Development Cooperation Conference 2016 and UN Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, explains what the Agenda actually means and why it is necessary.