Switzerland focuses on transboundary water management in New York

Press releases, 19.07.2023

A Swiss delegation is taking part in the UN's 2023 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which is being held in New York from 10 to 19 July. The Swiss delegation hosted an event at the HLPF on transboundary water management as a driver of sustainable development and peace. The HLPF is a pivotal preparatory event for the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit to be held in September.

Switzerland has been working with all other UN member states since 2015 on the implementation of the 17 SDGs. At this HLPF, Switzerland's main focus is on SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation for all) and SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), both of which will be addressed in depth this year.

To develop these themes further, Switzerland organised an event on transboundary water management on 12 July. This was an opportunity to show, through various examples, how cooperation in this field can be a driving force for sustainable development and peace. For example, Switzerland has helped to set up a regional platform to promote political dialogue in Central Asia. It is also offering its support so that the countries concerned can better manage their water resources and stem tensions between the various users at the regional and national level.

Switzerland is recognised for its expertise in transboundary water management. Sharing six rivers and four lakes with its neighbours, Switzerland launched the Blue Peace initiative in 2010, combining diplomacy with development cooperation. At the end of 2022, it also helped to set up the Transboundary Water Cooperation Coalition, to which more than 40 states and non-state actors belong.

A mid-term look at the 2030 Agenda
Organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the HLPF is an important step in the preparations for the 2023 SDG Summit, to be held during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2023. The heads of state and government of all UN member states will adopt a political declaration at this summit, setting out additional measures needed to implement the 2030 Agenda. The summit will mark the halfway point in the timeline for achieving the SDGs since their adoption in 2015.

Negotiations on this political declaration are already under way during the HLPF. One of the key issues is the investment of additional resources in order to achieve the SDGs in the Global South. Switzerland is working to ensure that non-state actors from business, science and civil society play a major role alongside state actors.

"Switzerland is committed to giving fresh impetus to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We must rekindle the optimism and resolve of 2015. The UN's 2023 Sustainable Development Report shows that without additional measures a majority of the SDG targets will not be achieved or will only be partially achieved. We must make faster progress towards the SDGs at both the national and global level, and take the necessary measures to ensure a just and resilient transition," said Markus Reubi, Federal Council delegate for the 2030 Agenda and head of the Swiss delegation to the HLPF.

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The 2030 Agenda sets out 17 SDGs and 169 targets in areas as varied as the fight against poverty, education, food security, gender equality, the protection of marine resources, the preservation of terrestrial ecosystems and access to clean energy. The Federal Council considers the 2030 Agenda to be the most appropriate frame of reference for tackling the common challenges facing humanity.

Further information:

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (en)
Interview Markus Reubi

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs