The voice of Persons with Disabilities at the High Level Political Forum 2018: first week in review

17 July 2018

The first week of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainavble Developmebt already passed. What a week!

Persons with disabilities were well-represented. They voiced their opinions and they were heard! EDF and the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities had the opportunity to voice the importance of inclusion of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Two disability-related side-events were organized during the first week of the HLPF 2018:  

Furthermore, EDF’s Vice-President Ana Peláez Narváez had the opportunity to intervene twice during the main sessions at the HLPF. She intervened during the session “SDG 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” and the session “Perspectives of society: Session organized with major groups and other stakeholders”.

She had the opportunity to bring awareness on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in cities and communities. Some of Ana’ statements included:

Safe and inclusive mobility is central for guaranteeing persons with disabilities’ participation to the life of their communities and access to economic, social, cultural and political spheres of society.

Studies have indicated that persons with disabilities are four times more likely to die when a disaster strikes than those without disabilities.

More than half of all persons with disabilities lives in towns and cities that are rarely accessible, and this number is estimated to grow to between 750,000 and 1 billion by 2030.

To realize this inclusion for persons with disabilities, policymakers must be informed by collecting evidence-based data that are disaggregated by disability using the short set of questions developed by the Washington Group and by properly consulting persons with disabilities and their representative organizations on the design, implementation and monitoring of SDG plans.

This week will feature the presentation of the Voluntary National Reviews.  Fourteen European countries have started to undertake this exercise.

They are: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland.

It is a highly important political week to advocate for a better representation of persons with disabilities. Indeed, following the official countries’ presentations, civil society have the opportunity to make a statement. These statements allow countries to elaborate on how countries' policies can better align to the Sustainable Development Goals, and how the inclusion and the expertise of civil society can benefit the process.

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