No development without peace, no peace without development
Switzerland successfully campaigned for a Sustainable Development Goal on peace and justice in the 2030 Agenda. Now it’s time to turn words into actions.
Prevention is better than cure: this truism is also reflected in Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It states: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. Switzerland actively campaigned for this Goal during the 2030 Agenda negotiations. In the first year of implementation, Switzerland was already keen to turn words into actions: actively championing implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Goal 16 in particular.
For example, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter and administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark signed a financing agreement for a total of some CHF 14 million on the margins of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016. This will allow the SDC to provide targeted support to the UNDP’s strategic global programmes to prevent conflicts, strengthen the rule of law and promote the development of state institutions.
By signing this agreement, the two partners sent out a clear signal: actors from the fields of humanitarian aid, development cooperation and peacebuilding need to work together more closely to ensure aid can be provided in an efficient and forward-looking manner. Civil society and the private sector also have a key role to play in meeting the growing humanitarian needs. At the Summit, the Swiss delegation also called for greater respect for international humanitarian law.
If preventive measures fail and violent conflicts ensue, they often last for decades. This is why Switzerland also supports an innovative UNDP Trust Fund, which allows a rapid and flexible response to crises and natural disasters. The aim is to ensure that internally displaced people quickly regain a foothold when they return home and are able to provide for their families themselves. In this way, long-term development cooperation actively complements humanitarian aid, and local coordination of emergency relief and development cooperation is improved. These efforts make a concrete contribution to implementation of Goal 16.
Funds for development projects
As part of the World Bank’s IDA18 Replenishment in December 2016, donor countries pledged a record sum of 75 billion US dollars to the World Bank’s International Development Association. Switzerland contributed CHF 645 million this time. This is CHF 107 million less than in the last funding cycle.
In particular, Switzerland would like to see the IDA improve the framework conditions for the private sector. In addition, it should take greater account of climate-related and environmental aspects when granting loans and it should be more active in fragile and conflict-hit countries. Finally, the FDFA believes that the IDA should ensure that the development projects it finances be implemented more effectively and efficiently.
Furthermore, a number of new financing options were introduced during this replenishment cycle. For example, the IDA can now borrow money on the capital markets itself. Like the World Bank, it boasts an AAA credit rating and can therefore borrow money on favourable terms to pass on to poorer countries.