So what happened at the High Level Political Forum in New York?

20 July 2017
The HLPF ministerial declaration with five references to persons with disabilities being adopted

The 2017 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) took place from 10 -19 July 2017, at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. The meeting was organised under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The HLPF was established to bring together governments, civil society, and business to monitor, review and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting, this year, focused on the theme of “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world" with a specific focus on seven of the 17 goals:

  • Goal 1. End poverty;
  • Goal 2. End hunger;
  • Goal 3. Ensure good health and well being;
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality;
  • Goal 9. Improving infrastructure, industrialization and innovation;
  • Goal 14. Conserve oceans, seas and marine.

EDF Vice-President, Ana Peláez Narváez was invited by the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities to provide input into Goal 5 ('Achieve gender equality') and talked about women with disabilities.

The HLPF in numbers

Numbers are here to attest the scope of the event, with a remarkable interest by all parties:

  • 2.458 stakeholders participated compared to 1.500 in 2016 and 700 in 2015;
  • 276 side-event applications for 127 slots (we were pleased to get our side-event accepted!)
  • 77 Ministers, Cabinet Secretaries and Deputy Ministers,
  • 44 voluntary national reviews, including 11 by European countries
  • 50+ disability activities, including 6 EDF representatives: Ana Peláez Narváez (ONCE), Marion Steff (EDF Secretariat), Pascale Ribes (Association des Paralysés de France), Signe Højsteen (Disabled People's Organisations Denmark), Thorkild Olesen (Disabled People's Organisations Denmark) and Veronique Bustreel (Association des Paralysés de France).

National Voluntary Reviews

The HLPF Ministerial Segment, which convened from 17-19 July, was addressed by heads of government and by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. It was during the second week that countries presented their national voluntary reviews. Eleven European countries took part in the exercise.

  • Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark had direct references to persons with disabilities in their presentation, while other Member States did not. When asked, answers were very varied.

  • Belgium representatives talked about its new Digital Skills Fund which is specifically investing in training and internships for "people from disabled backgrounds with free possibility of training to be a coder or being part of the labor force in a digital environment".

  • Denmark further explained how "people with disabilities, mental disorder or social problems, should enter into education, and employment, as this is a central role to inclusion."

  • Portugal witnessed "a real change in creating structural conditions for promoting the human rights of people with disabilities as to the creation of specific legislation and the approach for persons with disabilities." They also highlighted the need for more data.

  • Monaco seems pleased with its work, despite a poor selection of words "We have well adapted -- we meet the needs of the vulnerable, those who are physically challenged quite well".

  • Cyprus, Slovenia and Sweden missed an opportunity to talk about their work with persons with disabilities during the questions time.

  • Luxembourg choose to provide a written input regarding disability and inequality.

Finally, you will find the transcripts of each presentation per country:Belgium, Czech Republic (to come), Cyprus, Denmark, Italy (to come), Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden. All reports are available on the HLPF website.

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