Sustainable Development Goals until 2030: President Sommaruga supports new UN agenda on behalf of Switzerland

Bern, Press release, 25.09.2015

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".

Sustainable Development Goals replace Millennium Development Goals. ©

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which applies to all countries, aims to contribute to sustainable economic development, promoting human well-being and protecting the environment. The 2030 Agenda replaces the Millennium Development Goals which had guided development cooperation work since 2000.

At the summit in New York, Ms Sommaruga spoke on Switzerland's behalf about the new agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that form its core. She underscored that the 2030 Agenda was drawn up jointly by representatives from civil society, the private sector, governments and the scientific community.  The 2030 Agenda is "an agenda of the people, by the people, for the people," said Ms Sommaruga, and stressed the importance of ensuring that the goals are actually implemented. That is why Switzerland advocated an effective monitoring system, specifically the strengthening of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

In line with Swiss priorities

During the preparation and negotiation phase, which took about three years, Switzerland made a strong case for an ambitious 2030 Agenda and worked actively in particular for the inclusion of individual goals on water, health, gender equality, peace and the rule of law. Switzerland also succeeded in ensuring that the new agenda would incorporate important concerns such as migration, disaster risk reduction and sustainability in production and consumption. "We are very satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations. Considered as a whole, the 2030 Agenda is in line with our priorities and positions," says Ambassador Michael Gerber, the special representative of the Federal Council for global sustainable development, who headed the Swiss team that took part in the preparations and negotiations for the 2030 Agenda.

After its adoption by the heads of state and government, the 2030 Agenda is considered to be universal, which means that all states are called upon to implement the goals. Switzerland played a pioneering role in the negotiations to devise a monitoring mechanism for the global implementation of the goals. How the agenda will be implemented in Switzerland will be decided in 2016.

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