HLPF 2017: leaving no one behind

The 2017 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) took place from 10-19, with an additional day for the General Debate on 20 July, at the United Nations in New York. The HLPF represents the global platform on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) annually in July. The theme for this year’s HLPF was “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world.” The set of Goals that were reviewed in depth were the following, including Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that is considered each year:

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Alba Gonzalez (IAA) and I (IAA) actively participated in the Forum and supported partners, including Risna Utami (Indonesia), Pratima Gurung (Nepal), Gabriel Ismael Soto Vadillo, RIADIS (Uruguay), and Judith Umoh (Nigeria), and others. Overall, more than 50 persons with disabilities and partners attended the HLPF and represented the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities.

Alt="DPO partners attending the HLPF"

DPO partners attending the HLPF

During the first week, persons with disabilities presented on behalf of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities in approximately 85 percent of the thematic discussions of the aforementioned Goals. This provided visibility for the disability movement and highlighted the situation of persons with disabilities at the national level. You can read the policy briefs here that the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities compiled on the Goals of focus.

During the second week, 44 countries reported on national SDG implementation and presented their voluntary national reviews. The situation of persons with disabilities were referenced in the majority of these oral presentations and participants were able to ask specific country-focused questions on behalf of civil society seven times, including Indonesia, Jordan, Argentina, Uruguay, Ethiopia (twice), and Denmark.

Also during the second week, I supported Colin Allen, Chair of IDA and President of the World Federation of the Deaf, in the Partnership Exchange in which he presented on the IDA and IDDC Partnership for SDGs. Colin stole the show and gave a stellar presentation on this unique partnership in the UN General Assembly Hall! We will continue to build on this partnership as SDG implementation continues.

Alt="Colin Allen at the Partnership Exchange"

Colin Allen at the Partnership Exchange

At the end of the HLPF, the Ministerial Declaration was adopted and includes five references to persons with disabilities in the areas of poverty eradication, implementation of nationally appropriate social protection floors, addressing the multiple forms of discrimination faced by women and girls, collection and coordination of data collection, and the need to localize the SDGs by reaching out to all stakeholders including subnational and local authorities.

This year’s HLPF was accessible in myriad ways, including CART from 10-20 July, International Sign in the VNR sessions and General Debate from 17-19, an accessible sustainable development knowledge platform website, access to roaming microphones and listening devices, accessible seating for presenters and wheelchair users, and more. I would like to give a big thank you to all of the UN staff who worked with me on making the HLPF accessible for persons with disabilities and I hope we can build on this excellent example of inclusion and leaving no one behind.

It is estimated that 70 countries will volunteer to give national reviews at the 2018 HLPF, so this is an area of increased interest and development. Positively, persons with disabilities were incredibly organized and visible in this forum and we can continue to strengthen this work for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in SDG implementation at the local, national, regional, and global levels.

Additional Information

Click here for more information on the 2017 HLPF.

The High-level Political Forum kicks off!

Tomorrow the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) 2017 kicks off at the United Nations in New York until 19 July. The HLPF is the global platform on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. The theme for this year’s HLPF is “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world.” The set of Goals to be reviewed in depth will be the following, including Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year:

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

You can read the policy briefs here that the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities compiled on the Goals of focus.

During the second week, 44 countries will report on national SDG implementation and present their voluntary national reviews. At the national level, CBM has been very active in supporting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the consultation process, including in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, and Togo. Thank you to all the stellar support and collaboration from the CBM national offices in this process.

From CBM, Alba Gonzalez (IAA) and I (IAA) will actively participate in the Forum. In addition, quite a few of our partners will be attending, including Risna Utami (Indonesia), Pratima Gurung (Nepal), Gabriel Ismael Soto Vadillo, RIADIS (Uruguay), and Judith Umoh (Nigeria). Overall, more than 50 persons with disabilities and allies are attending the HLPF and will represent the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities.

For updates throughout the next two weeks please follow us on Twitter @LockwoodEM and @AlbaGonzalezAG and also at #InclusiveSDGs.

Data for People

Data for Development in AfricaTogether with CBM’s Country Representative for Kenya, David Munyendo, I had the pleasure of attending the High-Level meeting entitled “Data for Development in Africa – Unleashing the Power of Data and Partnerships Across Africa” on 29th and 30th in Nairobi. That event was co-hosted by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the Governments of Kenya and Sierra Leone, and Safaricom. It brought together more than 400 representatives from Governments, UN Agencies, the Private Sector, Civil Society and Academia. All of these different actors came together united by the vision to contribute to the often quoted data revolution that should benefit those who are currently most marginalised.

And this is where disability comes into the picture! In fact, whereas this was the biggest meeting of that kind in Africa, the CBM team in Kenya had advocated for inclusion of persons with disabilities in the data debates over the last few years, and with success! CBM was one of the few disability and development NGOs being invited to the meeting.

 

During the course of the two days, a number of key messages emerged:

  1. The world needs more and better data, in order for decision-makers to design good policies and programmes.
  2. But data are not only for decision-makers, they are equally important for people and their daily life. For example, more reliable data on weather conditions can help farmers to decide when to plant, a massive potential gain in terms of food security and livelihood.
  3. There are many good initiatives and innovations regarding data, but it is now vital to bring these together, in order to maximize their potential. The meeting showed a great deal of political commitment by many actors to improve investments in data, but illustrated also a growing number of concrete initiatives that already exist including at the grassroots. For CBM, the data revolution will continue to be an important topic, not only in promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in such political debates, but also very concretely in our programmatic work. From my point of view, it would be desirable to show case             at upcoming meetings of a similar nature CBM and its partners’ projects that highlight how data disaggregated by disability helped to improve e.g. educational services at community level. Because it is really at that level that data should make a difference!

 

(FR- EN)Assemblée Parlementaire Paritaire: la rencontre des députés de l’UE, de l’Afrique, des Carraibes et du Pacifique – Joint Parliamentary Assembly: A meeting between members of the European parliament (MEPs) and MPs from Africa, the Carribean and the Pacific

Du 16 au 21 juin 2017 se tenait à Malte dans le cadre de l’accord de Cotonou, l’Assemblée Parlementaire Paritaire (APP) ou les parlementaires de l’Union Européenne, de l’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) se sont réunis pour échanger sur des thématiques variées telles que la santé, l’aide au développement ou encore la famine. Durant les six jours de cette assemblée, j’ai eu l’occasion de tenir un stand IDDC ou j’ai pu présenter certaines de nos publications mais également différentes positions politiques et interagir avec les participants. Ces quelques jours de réunions m’ont permis d’accomplir différents objectifs, comme en premier lieu de présenter le consortium. La tenue de ce stand durant l’APP est l’occasion de faire connaître IDDC et par la même occasion CBM auprès des membres des différents parlements, corps institutionnels et diplomatiques mais, permet aussi d’interpeller les députés sur l’importance d’inclure le handicap au sein des discussions politiques. Il est important de rappeler qu’en 2011, suite aux efforts de Lars et avec le soutien de la députée européenne Catherine Bearder, les membres de l’APP avaient adopté une résolution sur l’inclusion des personnes en situation de handicap, or celle-ci a largement été mise de côté par les députés et n’a pas fait preuve du suivi requis. Ma participation à l’APP fut l’occasion de rappeler les engagements pris et c’est pourquoi avant mon départ, je me suis entretenue avec Catherine Bearder afin de relancer le processus de discussion. De ce fait, lors de cette APP à Malte c’est avec satisfaction que je l’ai entendu mentionner lors des débats de la commission des affaires sociales et de l’environnement, d’une part ladite résolution mais également la décision d’inclure à nouveau le handicap au sein de l’agenda de la prochaine réunion de la commission des affaires sociales le 12 octobre à Bruxelles. En deuxième lieu, les différentes discussions qui se déroulent lors de l’APP nous permettent de soulever la question du handicap auprès des rapporteurs et autres députés qui développent des rapports sur des sujets pertinents. Ce fut notamment le cas lors de la discussion du forum des femmes ou le rapport sur la situation des femmes réfugiées et en demande d’asile au sein de l’Union Européenne mentionne à plusieurs reprises la nécessité de protéger les femmes en situation de handicap et de répondre à leurs besoins de manière appropriée. La santé a également été au cœur des débats avec notamment la mise en avant de l’importance de la prévention. Une discussion avec le rapporteur du rapport nous laisse à penser que la dimension des maladies infectieuses et de la prévention du handicap sera reflétée dans la résolution. Enfin, un rapport sur le rôle du sport comme outil pour l’éducation et l’éradication de la pauvreté a également été discuté. Le bénéfice du sport dans l’inclusion des personnes les plus marginalisées y compris les personnes en situation de handicap a été soulevé à plusieurs reprises. Enfin, l’APP c’est également l’opportunité pour moi de faire le lien entre les députés et nos bureaux pays afin de maximiser les relations mais également les actions de plaidoyer aussi bien au niveau international, national que local.

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From the 16th to 21st June 2017, the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA ) took place in Malta where parliamentarians from the European Union, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) met to exchange views on various topics such as health, development aid and famine. During the six days of meeting, I had the opportunity to hold an IDDC stand where I could present some of our publications but also different political positions and interact with participants. These few days of meetings allowed me to accomplish different objectives, as in the first place to present the consortium. Holding this stand during the JPA was an opportunity to introduce IDDC but also CBM to members of the various parliaments, institutional and diplomatic bodies, but also to exchange with MEPs and MPs on the importance of including disability in political discussions. It is important to remember that in 2011, due to Lars’ advocacy and with the support of MEP Catherine Bearder, members of the JPA adopted a resolution on the inclusion of persons with disabilities. However this resolution has largely been set aside and the concrete follow up has not been done. My participation at the JPA was an opportunity to recall the commitments made during the adoption of the resolution and that is why, before my departure, I met with Catherine Bearder in order to re-launch the discussion process. Therefore, during this JPA in Malta, it was with satisfaction that during the debates of the Committee on Social Affairs and Environment I heard a mention of the resolution, but also a decision to include disability as a point on the agenda of the next meeting of the Committee on Social Affairs which will take place the 12 October in Brussels. Secondly, the various discussions that are taking place during the JPA allowed me to advocate towards the rapporteurs and other MEPs and MPs who are developing reports on relevant topics. This was particularly the case during the Women’s Forum where the report on the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the European Union mentions several times the need to protect women with disabilities but also the necessity to respond in an adequat manner to their needs. Health has also been at the heart of the debate, where the importance of prevention has been highlighted. A discussion with the rapporteur of the report suggests that the dimension of infectious diseases and the prevention of disability will be reflected in the resolution. Finally, a report on the role of sport as a tool for education and the eradication of poverty was also discussed. The benefits of sport in including the most marginalized, including people with disabilities, have been raised several times. Finally, the JPA was also the opportunity for me link MPs with our country offices in order to maximize our advocacy at international, national and local level.

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