UN promises to leave no one behind

UN promises to leave no one behind

Today the UN General Assembly adopts the new International Development Framework known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. EDF has been campaigning for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in International Cooperation for some years, through our work in the International Disability Alliance (IDA), and in our EU advocacy and together with the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC). The Agenda for Sustainable Development includes 11 explicit references to persons with disabilities under sections on human rights, vulnerable groups, education, employment, reducing inequality, inclusive cities, means of implementation and data. You can read an analysis on CBM’s website.

As a sign of the recognition of the role of organisations of persons with disabilities in the development of the new framework, Vladimir Cuk from IDA is addressing the UN General Assembly today. EDF would like to recognise that the EU’s permanent representation to the UN in New York has been a long term ally in the promotion of disability-inclusive Sustainable Development Goals. Recently EDF also co-signed a letter addressed to the Vice President of the European Commission , looking for leadership from the EU in the implementation and monitoring of the new development framework.

When EDF met with Commissioner Mimica on Inclusive International Cooperation earlier this year, he also committed to working intensively to ensure that all the EU’s development cooperation is inclusive of persons with disabilities. The UN expert Committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, in their recommendations to the EU, recognised the work the EU had already done in making their external cooperation inclusive. They asked for leadership from the EU in the next stages of implementation and monitoring of the Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We will continue our advocacy, within IDA and together with IDDC, to ensure that the new framework leads to investment in inclusive accessible development all around the world. A toolkit for influencing the next steps has been developed by IDA, IDDC and the UN to promote inclusive indicators towards National Governments, so that persons with disabilities will be visible, will be countries, and will be included.

EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, addressed the issue of implementation and monitoring: “EDF and our members across Europe primarily focus on the rights of the 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe. Our aim is to promote the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; this is a global agenda. People with disabilities live in risk of poverty and exclusion all around the World. Today, we celebrate that finally women, men and children with disabilities are fully included in the world development agenda. However, this is the beginning, not the end. What needs to follow is a human rights based, democratic transparent process of implementation and monitoring. Social partners and civil society organisations- including organisation of persons with disabilities- need to be fully included. The SDGs should leave no one behind, not only in the text, but also in the budget, the programmes and the evaluation of the actions.”

Many of EDF’s members across Europe have a strong tradition of supporting persons with disabilities and their organisations in the Global South, through advocacy and also direct support to DPOS.

On 18 November, EDF’s member, the Italian Federation of Persons with Disabilities will host an international conference exploring the role of Government, Disabled Persons Organisations and Non Governmental Organisation in inclusive international cooperation.