2018 annual report on international cooperation: commitment to sustainable development and a stable international environment
Bern, 11.06.2019 - In 2018, 700 million people were living in extreme poverty and 70 million people were displaced. Switzerland works to combat poverty, overcome global challenges like climate change and promote peace and human rights. This is a significant contribution to sustainable development and a stable international environment, as can be seen in the 2018 annual report on international cooperation published today by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER).
Humanity as a whole has never been as well off as it is today. People are enjoying better, longer, healthier and safer lives than ever before. In the last few decades, around one billion people in developing and emerging countries have been able to escape poverty. But there have also been setbacks and negative developments. In 2018, 700 million people were still living in extreme poverty and 70 million people were displaced. Additional jobs will soon be needed for the hundreds of millions of children in sub-Saharan Africa. A lack of prospects at home, climate change and water scarcity risk causing unprecedented waves of migration.
That is why Switzerland's international cooperation work remains vital. It reduces poverty and hardship, supports people and national economies to develop, promotes peace and helps deal with global challenges like climate change. In so doing, Switzerland contributes to sustainable development and a stable international environment.
Thanks to Switzerland, in 2018 India launched its first-ever standards for energy-efficient residential buildings. The construction and operation of buildings are responsible for almost 40% of global CO2 emissions. The new standards will help save at least 100 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030. Slowing down climate change benefits everyone, including Switzerland.
In 2018, Switzerland also helped young people in several North African countries improve their specialist skills. Solid professional training is important because well-qualified staff make their companies more competitive, which in turn helps them to grow and create more skilled jobs. This is critical to reducing poverty and reducing the pressure on people to migrate.
Switzerland also supported North Macedonia in meeting its international obligations and implementing its national gender equality strategies in 2018. Gender equality is an essential prerequisite for the country's potential accession to the EU, which would bring the Macedonian population stability, peace and economic prospects. Sustainable development in North Macedonia is also in Switzerland's interests, because stability in the Balkans also means stability in Europe.
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Last modification 27.04.2016