In July 2016 in New York, the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) convened for the first time since the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted. The forum is entrusted with reviewing the progress made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Review mechanism backed by Switzerland
Switzerland strongly backed the creation of the HLPF; the Agenda's global goals can only be properly implemented if they are followed up by an effective review mechanism.
In the run-up to the 2030 Agenda, Switzerland was quick to launch a dialogue about its implementation and review. It contributed a great deal to the section on monitoring and reviewing implementation requirements, coordinating for this purpose a supraregional group of seven countries. This group managed to convince the other countries of the need to establish a watertight review mechanism.
At the first High-level Political Forum, Switzerland took on a leading role with regard to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It was one of the first countries to present steps it will take to implement the agenda at national level. In this leading role, Switzerland is helping to shape the international debate and intergovernmental coordination. The HLPF discussed a total of 22 country presentations and the first global progress report.
In its report to the HLPF, Switzerland detailed what initial measures are being taken to implement the 2030 Agenda at home. The report focused on the 2016–17 transition phase during which the federal agencies mandated by the Federal Council to lead the process (the SDC and the Federal Office for Spatial Development) are to launch the implementation.
The purpose of this stage is to clarify institutional responsibilities and processes, conduct a baseline study and gap analysis to identify areas for action, and put in place an adequate monitoring and reporting mechanism. The results will be included in a report to the Federal Council and in the national review before the HLPF in 2018.
Non-state actors are crucial to achieving the goals set by the 2030 Agenda, which is why a broad-based delegation represented Switzerland in New York. The delegation, led by SDC director general Manuel Sager, comprised representatives from various federal agencies, civil society, academia, the private sector and Parliament.