The Swiss Federal Council has just released the national report on the realization of the Social Development Goals (SDGs) 2018: “The realization of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development”.
The analysis highlights the Swiss dedication to the essentials of the UN-Sustainability Agenda 2030 – constructive cooperation between the State, businesses and the civil society.
A common framework for a multi-level cooperation has been created with the UN-Sustainability Agenda 2030.The recently published national report of the Swiss Federal Council suggests an already functioning cooperation in most areas between State, businesses and the civil society in Switzerland. The report also underlines Swiss interest for a sustainable and future-compliant world. Switzerland does not need to worry about an international comparison, on the contrary, it occupies a lead position in a variety of fields, such as environmental protection, social cohesion, quality of life and sustainable economy.
Anchoring of the SDGs in Swiss politics
National political efforts should now be directed towards extension of this already existing collaboration in order to guarantee added value for society and businesses. Therefore, the Agenda 2030 should be perceived as an orientation framework and not as a regulatory bodice. Accordingly, a clear institutional consolidation and an integration of the SDGs in the ordinary political process is imperative. Instead of multiple parallel actions of individual departments, a clear institutional anchoring of the SDGs is necessary. For example, the legislature plan should be aligned with the SDGs, rather than promoting a parallel sustainability planning. This would lead to a perception of the SDGs as a global orientation framework instead of a regulatory corset. Otherwise Switzerland will not exploit its full potential and waste important resources on parallel actions.
The line between over-regulation and self-responsibility is extremely thin. Therefore, both partners must contribute their share to a functioning realization of the Agenda 2030, the State by providing a maximum of liberty in the realization of the SDGs and the businesses by taking responsibility.
We ask for concrete strategies and realizations rather than legal analysis, because global goals cannot be achieved without the help of the private sector and without entrepreneurial initiatives.
Globalization and market access
The 8thSDG Goal (SDG 8), which aims at human work and economic growth, supports the idea that economy and sustainability are not contradictory, the UN-Sustainability Goals being clearly also of economic interest. Decreasing poverty and increasing legal certainty lead to growing markets, which lead to prosperity and peace through trade and investment.
Engaging with the World Trade Organization (WTO), Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and by advocating market access for developing countries, Switzerland already contributes to the SDG 8.
Businesses and self-responsibility
The number of Swiss companies integrating the SDGs in their core business is increasing steadily. Nevertheless, the Agenda 2030 must be more widely promoted in Swiss economy, to emphasize the diverse business opportunities and to stimulate an efficient reporting on the companies’ performances.