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High Level Meeting on Disability and Development

UN buildings, New York
UN buildings, New York

On Monday 23 September 2013, the UN General Assembly will hold a High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development. The meeting aims to promote disability inclusive development and mainstream disability in the post 2015 development framework.

The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond

The United Nations General Assembly will hold a High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development (HLMDD) on Monday 23 September 2013, the overarching theme of which is The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond”. The meeting is taking place the Monday before the start of the general debate of the sixty-eighth session at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The HLMDD is also taking place in advance of the MDG Summit on 25 September which will take stock of the progress made to-date on achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The timing of the HLMDD is strategic: taking place five years after the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) entered into force, two years after the release of the World Report on Disability[Link to anchor 0] and two years prior to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 2015 target and the commencement of the post-2015 agenda and new development priorities. 

Disability was not referred to in the original MDGs, however over recent years there has been growing recognition that disability needs to be included in next set of development goals, which will emerge in 2015.

Inclusion is the key to sustainable development

Dave McComiskey, President, CBM ©CBM

What will happen at the HLMDD?

The HLMDD will comprise a plenary meeting and two consecutive informal interactive round tables. Participation in each round table will include Member States, observers and representatives of entities of the United Nations system, as well as representatives of civil society, organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and the private sector. The HLMDD will result in a concise action-oriented outcome document aimed at strengthening efforts to ensure accessibility for and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development efforts.

The meeting will commence with an open plenary featuring statements by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General, and the Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Other speakers will include representatives from the international disability community. Two consecutive informal interactive round tables will follow under the following themes: international and regional cooperation and partnerships for disability-inclusive development and the post-2015 development agenda and inclusive development for persons with disabilities.

Activities leading up to the HLMDD

DPOs and civil society are expected to play a central role in the lead up to the HLMDD. Their efforts are expected to strengthen the process and the final outcome document – in a similar way as they did in the development of the CRPD. Many international, regional and national organisations have been planning and engaging with their members and governments in the lead up to the HLMDD. CBM’s International Alliances and Advocacy team, along with CBM Member Associations, partners and other allies in the international disability community have been working throughout 2013 to influence this process and will continue to do so at this meeting. CBM will launch its own publication on the work CBM is doing to promote a disability inclusive post 2015 agenda. The publication also gives an outline of the consultation process so far on the post MDG agenda, and how CBM and its partners have been involved. 

What will the meeting accomplish?

The Meeting presents a historical opportunity to translate the international commitment to disability-inclusive society and disability-inclusive development into concrete actions and changes on the ground, and to mainstream disability in the global agenda towards a post-2015 development framework.

The High-Level Meeting is expected to result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document providing policy guidance and strengthening efforts of the international community to ensure accessibility for and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development efforts.

Important Links

High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development
In 2011, the General Assembly decided to convene a one-day High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on disability (HLMD) at the level of Heads of State and Government on 23 September 2013, the Monday before the start of the general debate of the sixty-eighth session. Under the theme: “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.” For more information on the High-Level Meeting, please visit the  United Nations Enable website.

Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities Forum
On 24 September 2013, UNICEF will host the second gathering of the Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities (GPcwd). The partners will evaluate the work undertaken since the first Forum in September 2012 and discuss plans for future steps of the partnership. CBM's advisors on education for children with disabilities will be participating in order to collaborate with others to work towards inclusive education globally. In addition, our Director for International Alliances and Advocacy, Catherine Naughton, will be representing IDDC to facilitate a session on ‘the way forward’ for the Partnership. 

Special Event on MDGs
At the 2010 High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals, Member States requested “the President of the General Assembly at its sixty-eight session to organise a special event in 2013 to follow up efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.” For more information on the special event, please refer to the special event webpage.

IDA/IDDC joint UNGA High-level reception 
IDA/IDDC together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway host a UNGA High-Level reception event will end the week with Suzanne Vega as a performer. CBM is supporting the planning of this event, which aims to raise awareness of UN member states, and in particular members of the Open Working Group for the Sustainable Development Goals, of the need to include persons with disabilities in the next development framework. 

Advancing Regional Recommendations for Post-2015: A Dialogue between Civil Society, Governments, and UN Representatives

In preparation for the HLMDD, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) in partnership with the Post-2015 Development Planning Team of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) will be hosting a dialogue between civil society, governments and UN representatives on Sunday 22 September 2013 at UN Headquarters from 2:00PM to 5:45PM. This event will provide an opportunity for civil society and Member States to have a meaningful exchange on critical regional issues and policy recommendations prior to the HLMDD. The event is expected to attract over 1100 participants.

This event will be webcast live and on archive video at UN WebTv and via the World We Want online platform. The final programme and speakers’ bios will be posted on the website, www.un-ngls.org in advance of the event.

More reading

CBM’s engagement in advocacy

CBM is working with other organisations to advocate for a disability-inclusive society


UN General Assembly side event

Political leaders introduce and sign the 2013 Manhattan Declaration on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities at Civil Society Reception


Towards an inclusive future - publication launch

UNPRPD launch the publication ‘Towards an Inclusive and Accessible Future for All' amidst UN High Level meeting and UN Summit


Download publication

cover of publication 'The Millennium Development Goals' showing a smiling woman with a big cooking pot, and next to her an elbow crutch leans on a wall
  • Part 1: CBM’s disability-inclusive development work
  • Part 2: A future inclusive of persons with disabilities


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