Sustainable development and efforts by the Confederation to promote it are required by Arts. 2, 54 and 73 of the Federal Constitution. Since 1997, the Federal Council has set out its political intentions for the implementation of sustainable development in Switzerland in a dedicated strategy. This provides a reference framework for Swiss action in key areas, in the interests of ensuring coherence on sustainable development throughout the country. This coherence involves coordinating activities at the different levels of government, and cooperation with partners from business, civil society and the scientific community.
The fifth Sustainable Development Strategy, which forms part of the dispatch on Switzerland's legislative programme for 2016–2019, attaches great importance to the 2030 Agenda. The Strategy already reflects the key points of the Agenda, and will be brought even more into line with it in the future. In the long term, the objective is to gear the Strategy as closely as possible to the 2030 Agenda, and thus ensure Switzerland's contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals it contains by 2030.
Action Plan and global coordination
To meet the objectives that it sets, the Strategy contains an Action Plan determining domestic policy measures in nine action areas that correspond to policy priorities for sustainable development. These action areas include the competitiveness of the Swiss economic and financial system, its resilience, the conservation of natural resources, social security, social cohesion and gender equality.
The Federal Office of Spatial Planning ARE is responsible for both sustainability polity at federal level and the Sustainable Development Strategy. Coordination within the federal government is handled by the Inter-departmental Sustainable Development Committee ISDC, which unites representatives of around 35 federal agencies.