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UN agenda Development goals to involve citizens, Swiss president

Sommaruga addressing the plenary session of the UN's Sustainable Development Summit in New York

Sommaruga addressing the plenary session of the UN's Sustainable Development Summit in New York

(Keystone)

Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga stressed the importance of the right to political self- determination during meetings about the United Nations global goals for sustainable development.

Addressing a United Nations summit in New York, Sommaruga said civil society as well as the private sector, politics and academic experts were closely involved in the process of defining Switzerland’s priorities for the 2030 Agendaexternal link. That agenda calls on countries to implement the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“In implementing the SDGs, we will proceed with the same approach: while the process will take place within a political framework, citizens will be given the opportunity to contribute,” she pledged.

The government plans to implement the policy goals as part of its strategy on sustainable development for 2016-2019 and in its strategy on international cooperation.

Danger of populism

On the sidelines of the UN summit at the weekend, Sommaruga also warned of populist tendencies in democracies.

“Populism is on the increase in many European democracies, including in Switzerland;” she warned. “This is poisonous for democracies,” she added.

Sommaruga said the tendency was a response to the perceived complexity of the world and the challenges that are resulting from it.

As chair of a panel by the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), the Swiss president stressed the importance of transparency and the rule of law in implementing the 17 sustainable development goals by 2030.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch and agencies


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