Switzerland is making good progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a report presented by Environment Minister Doris Leuthard at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPFexternal link) in New York on Tuesday.
"Switzerland has already achieved several sustainable development goals (SDGs),” said Leuthard, explaining that there was no extreme poverty or hunger in Switzerland and a "free, compulsory and good quality" education system.
The environment minister was presenting Switzerland’s “Voluntary National Review” - an annual report on Swiss progress on the 17 SDGs - at a gathering of governments, civil society and stakeholders at the UN in New York.
According to the Swiss report, the 85 indicators for the 17 SDGs are mostly positive or do not need to be significantly modified. Fourteen of them, however, are negative.
Leuthard said efforts were needed concerning imported resources and goods which are “increasing unsustainably”. She said much more should be done to improve the sustainable use of natural resources. The minister also called for a global tariff system for carbon.
The Swiss minister also stressed that Switzerland had much to do concerning gender equality, in particular the question of equal pay and management jobs for women.
In her speechexternal link, she urged signatories of the Paris climate accord to stick to their promises to keep a maximum temperature increase below 2 or 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“At the moment, we are falling short of these agreed goals and this is a matter of concern for Switzerland,” Leuthard declared.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been in force since January 2016. It calls on all UN member states to meet 17 development goals, which include targets relating to the fight against poverty, hunger and climate change. The Swiss report on its implementation was adopted by the Federal Council in June.
Switzerland was one of 46 other countries presenting their progress report to the HLPF on Tuesday.