In September 2015, a new sustainable development agenda has been adopted by world leaders to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development enshrines 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.
The 2030 Agenda emphasises the importance of promoting universal respect of human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and non-discrimination. It supports sustainable development at all levels by integrating economic, social and environmental dimensions in an overarching manner. The 2030 Agenda is built on the guiding principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and international law. It is also informed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights treaties such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
On 1 January 2016, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda officially came into force. Over the next 15 years, the new Goals will rely on the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and complete what they did not achieve. The SDGs represent a unique political commitment as they call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They acknowledge that eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge and a significant requirement for sustainable development. To this end, all countries are called to develop strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
The SDGs have a non-binding nature, but symbolise an unprecedented opportunity to set the world on a sustainable course and ensure a life of dignity for all. The SDGs are universal and they provide a clear policy framework for regulatory actions at national and international level. National governments are expected to set up political agendas that are in line with the targets of the 2030 Agenda. In this respect, countries retain the fundamental duty to follow-up and review the progress made in implementing the Goals, which will require quality, accessible and timely data collection.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the most ambitious development plan launched by the international community. Focused action packages by national policy makers are therefore required to put the world on a more sustainable growth path.
The European Disability Forum (EDF) wants to make sure the SDGs also become a reality for the 80 million Europeans with disabilities.
In particular, EDF works in four main areas:
- Harmonised SDGs policy on disability-inclusive development at the European level,
- Support to European organisations of persons with disabilities to implement and monitor the SDGs at the national level,
- Data disaggregation by disability using the Washington Group Set of Questions on Disability,
- Information sharing and support to other regional platforms of persons with disabilities outside the EU.