Switzerland’s human rights work helps to achieve objectives in this area (e.g. sustainable use of natural resources, effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, protection against health risks, protection of cultural heritage).


Human rights violations are among the causes of poverty and lack of prospects. They prevent sustainable development and jeopardise the results of international cooperation (IC). As a result, effective and sustainable development cannot occur without the promotion of human rights. Reinforcing human rights is therefore an objective of the IC Strategy 2021–24.

The 2030 Agenda sets global SDGs that are founded on human rights norms, and therefore also contribute to the realisation of human rights. Thus, Switzerland works to ensure that human rights are adequately considered in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

2030 Agenda and SDGs

The environment

Together with like-minded states (Costa Rica, Maldives, Maroc and Slovenia), Switzerland has worked since 2011 to regularly put forward resolutions to the UN Human Rights Council that emphasise the interdependence of the environment and human rights. This work has made a substantial contribution to the international consensus that an intact environment is an important precondition for the realisation of human rights.

On the initiative of these states, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2021 urging that access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment be recognised as a human right in its own right. This served as the basis for the UN General Assembly's resolution in 2022 which declared such access a universal human right. 

Last update 27.12.2022

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