Switzerland at the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Article, 05.07.2017

The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will be held at the UN in New York from 10 to 19 July 2017. Last year, 22 countries presented their initial measures to implement the 2030 Agenda; this year, twice that number are presenting voluntary national reports on their implementation of the Agenda. Thematic evaluations of specific SDGs will be carried out at the same time. The Swiss delegation will take an active part in the discussions.

Tourists walking in front of a poster advertising the High-level Political Forum.
A review of the SDGs takes place at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. © UNDP

The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is taking place this year for the second time since the UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda. The HLPF is the centrepiece of the global review of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Last year, 22 countries, including Switzerland, presented their first steps towards the implementation of the ambitious SDGs; this year, another 44 states will present their first national report.

The 2017 HLPF also kicks off the thematic review of individual SDGs, which will be followed by an in-depth annual discussion on progress in specific areas. The focus this year is on the following six goals:

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

  • SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

  • SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

  • SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

  • SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

  • SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

In addition, every HLPF will also review progress towards SDG 17: strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development. Because all the goals in the 2030 Agenda are to be addressed and achieved in their entirety, the thematic reviews of individual SDGs are specifically designed to identify synergies and conflicting targets in other areas. Switzerland will actively help shape these thematic discussions. The HLPF procedures also allow Switzerland to share its own experience in implementing the 2030 Agenda, and to learn from the countries presenting national reports. This allows states to engage in constructive dialogue on an equal footing and to exchange solutions to a variety of challenges.

A wide-ranging support programme

A Partnership Exchange event to strengthen partnerships between state and non-state actors and an SDG Business Forum will be held alongside the official HLPF programme. The SDG Business Forum is an opportunity to flesh out the role of the private sector in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Again this year, numerous side events will be organised by individual UN member states, international organisations and non-state actors. Switzerland is organising an event on the significance of SDG 16 for the entire 2030 Agenda and an event on sustainable livestock farming. It will also co-chair a series of events on gender equality, policy coherence for sustainable development and other topics.

Partnership Exchange, UN

SDG Business Forum 

A broad-based Swiss delegation

A delegation comprised of members of nine different federal agencies and headed by Switzerland's Special Envoy for Global Sustainable Development, Ambassador Michael Gerber, will take part in the HLPF. Aware that all relevant stakeholders in society must be included to achieve the SDGs, the Swiss delegation will be supported, as it is every year, by representatives from civil society, the private sector and the academic world.

SDG Progress Report and Global Sustainable Development Report

The global review process of the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development is accompanied by an annual progress report issued by the UN secretary general. This report is not limited to the goals reviewed at the HLPF; it also provides information, based on the indicators adopted by the UN Statistical Commission, on progress towards all the target areas of the 2030 Agenda. 

In addition, every four years, a group of 15 independent experts produce a Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR). Based on multidisciplinary scientific findings, the GSDR contains recommendations for policy-makers to ensure that the 2030 Agenda can be advanced based on sound evidence. The former UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, appointed a Swiss national, Prof. Peter Messerli of the University of Bern, to co-chair the international group of experts tasked with drawing up the first GSDR, which will be published in 2019. 

Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals – Report of the Secretary-General 2017

UN Global Sustainable Development Report 2019