The following is an analysis of the “Final draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda” put together by Orsolya Bartha from the International Disability Alliance and me.
Persons with disabilities have 13 explicit references in the final draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit in September 2015 that will adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Persons with disabilities are included in paragraphs 18 (human rights), 22 (vulnerable populations), 23 (education) and in follow-up and review on data (Para 57, f). In addition, there are seven references in the SDGs as well as two references in Annex 3: Introduction of the Open Working Group Proposal for Sustainable development goals and targets (paras 4 and 17). In addition, wherever “vulnerable sections of the population” is referenced (18 instances) in the document, it also applies to persons with disabilities in line with paragraph 22. A new achievement is that resolution 67/290 was highlighted two times in relation to the High-level Political Forum and this resolution explicitly references persons with disabilities as key contributing actors to the review and follow-up mechanism of the post-2015 implementation.
There are three significant areas of improvement beneficial to persons with disabilities: (1) human rights is strengthened, (2) the framework is people-centred and focuses on participation, and (3) the universal application of the goals and targets is clearly and strongly reflected. One of the main positive improvements, relevant for persons with disabilities, is that paragraph 22 now includes the phrase “must be empowered.” One concern is that although the SDGs are framed in an accessible manner, this has not been incorporated throughout the rest of the framework.
Despite the positive improvements, we are requesting Member States to contribute to the empowerment of persons with disabilities in four critically important paragraphs. These include:
- The Preamble section includes a paragraph on people and persons with disabilities should be included.
- Paragraph 13 is highlighting the shortcomings and challenges of the MDGs and commitments toward unfinished business and persons with disabilities need to be recognized here.
- Paragraph 24 focuses on universal healthcare coverage. Since there is no reference to persons with disabilities in goal 3, this paragraph provides an opportunity to be included.
- Paragraph 57 lists the principles of the review and follow-up process and by including accessibility it therefore enhances participation for persons with disabilities at all levels.
This is an Agenda which encompasses all human rights. It will work to ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms are enjoyed by all without discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, age, language, religion, culture, migratory status, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic situation, birth, disability or other status.
Vulnerable sections of the population who must be empowered, and whose needs are reflected in the goals and targets, include children, youth, persons with disabilities and older persons; the needs of others who are vulnerable, such as migrants and indigenous peoples, are also reflected. People living in areas affected by conflict, terrorism and complex humanitarian emergencies are also experiencing severe challenges.
We commit to providing quality education at all levels – early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary. All people irrespective of gender, age, race or ethnicity, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, children and youth in vulnerable situations, should have access to learning that helps them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in society. We will strive to provide children and youth with a nurturing environment for the full realization of their rights and capabilities, including through supportive families, schools and stronger communities.
Sustainable Development Goals and targets
There are seven references to persons with disabilities:
Goal 4: education = 2
Goal 8: employment = 1
Goal 10: reduce inequality = 1
Goal 11: inclusive cities = 2
Goal 17: Means of implementation, data = 1
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
4.5 by 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations
4.a build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
8.5 by 2030 achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
10.2 by 2030 empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11.2 by 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
11.7 by 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Systemic issues; Data, monitoring and accountability
17.18 by 2020, enhance capacity building support to developing countries, including for LDCs and SIDS, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
Follow-up and Review
Para 57 (f)
Follow-up and review processes shall be guided by the following principles:
- They will be rigorous and based on evidence, informed by data which is timely, reliable and disaggregated by characteristics relevant in national contexts including income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability and geographic location, for which capacity building support to developing countries will be
Annex 3: Introduction of the Open Working Group Proposal for Sustainable development goals and targets
People are at the centre of sustainable development and, in this regard, in the outcome document, the promise was made to strive for a world that is just, equitable and inclusive and the commitment was made to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection and thereby to benefit all, in particular the children of the world, youth and future generations of the world, without distinction of any kind such as age, sex, disability, culture, race, ethnicity, origin, migratory status, religion, economic or other status.
To monitor the implementation of the sustainable development goals, it will be important to improve the availability of and access to data and statistics disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts. There is a need to take urgent steps to improve the quality, coverage and availability of disaggregated data to ensure that no one is left behind.