Tag Archives: HLPF

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.

HLPF 2016: Lessons Learned and Next Steps

Now that two months have passed since the first high-level political forum (HLPF) since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals (SDGs), it is good to reflect and share a brief analysis, lessons learned, and suggested next steps for future HLPFs. This blog is a concise version of more in-depth and substantive work that Orsolya Bartha from International Disability Alliance (IDA), Megan Smith from IDA, and I put together. Thank you for the stellar teamwork, dear colleagues!

As a quick recap, the HLPF is the central UN platform for the global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as other frameworks related to sustainable development. For details on the background of the HLPF and HLPF 2016, please read my previous blogs: The High-level Political Forum and 22 Disability Advocates and HLPF 2016: Solidarity, Inclusion, and Participation.

Quick Facts

  • The HLPF 2016 was attended by 22 representatives of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities consisting of 12 persons with disabilities and 10 advocates.
  • An official position paper by the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities titled “Ensuring that no one was left behind” was submitted to the HLPF and endorsed by over 370 organizations.
  • Two representatives from the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities were invited to be official presenters at the HLPF.
  • Representatives of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities gave 17 interventions during the official sessions of the HLPF.
  • Seventeen out of the 22 written Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) explicitly elaborated on the situation of persons with disabilities in their national context (Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).
  • Eight out of the 22 oral presentations on the VNRs explicitly mentioned persons with disabilities (Egypt, Finland, France, Madagascar, Morocco, Norway, Sierra Leone, and Samoa).
  • The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities co-organized and hosted six side events.
  • Representatives from the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities presented at 10 HLPF side events.

Although the HLPF 2016 was a pilot year, there is indication that the HLPF has the potential to fulfill the role of a strong monitoring mechanism in which national reviews and thematic exchange can take place inclusive of grassroots organizations. Governments took the Forum seriously, attended with well prepared, large and high-level delegations. Despite the intergovernmental nature of the Forum, it was conducted as a multi-stakeholder platform that provided space for all kinds of actors to participate, intervene and deliver speeches, including persons with disabilities.

Prior to the HLPF, persons with disabilities mobilized, engaged at the national level in their country’s voluntary review process and report writing. Additionally, persons with disabilities meaningful participated throughout the entire Forum, as indicated above under Quick Facts. Positively, Member States, the UN, and other actors recognized persons with disabilities several times at the Forum as one of the most organized and well prepared stakeholder groups.

The HLPF 2016 provided a global venue in which persons with disabilities could connect, was an initial great learning opportunity on how to draw attention to national challenges in the global arena, and provided new options to strengthen UN Convention on the Rights of Peoples with Disabilities (CRPD) implementation within the SDG framework and development policies and programs. The HLPF 2016 also ensured that a wide range of disability organizations collaborated. During the Forum, initial steps were taken to formalize the establishment of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, which up to that point only existed on an ad-hoc level. Building on the meaningful participation from HLPF 2016, it is important for the disability community to continue to work as a broad coalition for future HLPFs. Please continue reading for recommendations on next steps.

Next Steps

Recommendations for Preparatory Process for HLPF 2017

  • Discuss with organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and allies on what to achieve over the HLPF 2017 theme
  • Convene a working group that will draft and initiate broad consultation to carry out an official submission by persons with disabilities on the HLPF 2017 theme
  • Develop main messages to be communicated at the HLPF 2017
  • Development of participation and funding strategies to ensure a gender-balanced, geographical-balanced, and diverse representation of persons with disabilities, particularly of grassroots DPOs
  • Secure funding and resources, including translation fees, event organizing, and more
  • Coordinate, participate and share information in the regional multi-stakeholder platforms
  • Develop a strategic approach for participation in the voluntary national reports with emphasis to empower the involvement of national DPOs (strong participation in national multi-stakeholder consultations; reasonable accommodation for participants with disabilities; exchange of knowledge between national DPOs and global advocates; consultations to analyze the written national submissions; close collaboration with grassroots DPOs during the HLPF for urgent feedback; and so forth)
  • Support for the submission of parallel reports
  • Ensure that the new form of web-based interfaces is accessible and persons with disabilities are able to participate in an effective, broad and balanced participation by region and by type of organization
  • Address the accessibility challenges of the HLPF 2016 to create a more inclusive and accessible HLPF 2017

Upcoming themes for future HLPFs

  • HLPF 2017: Date: 10-19 July 2017, Theme: “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world.” The set of goals to be reviewed in depth will be Goal 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14, and including Goal 17.
  • HLPF 2018: Theme: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” The set of goals to be reviewed in depth will be Goal 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and including Goal 17.
  • HLPF 2019: Theme: “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” The set of goals to be reviewed in depth will be Goal 4, 8, 10, 13, 16, and including Goal 17.

I will end on H.E. Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), President of ECOSOC and HLPF’s quote from the HLPF 2016 Official Summary that exemplifies how persons with disabilities were meaningfully represented at the Forum. “Inclusiveness means that all people can participate as partners, rights-holders and full citizens, not as subjects or mere beneficiaries. Relevant international instruments often exist, such as the Convention on the Rights of Peoples with Disabilities, but are not always respected.”

 

HLPF 2016: Solidarity, Inclusion, and Participation

The High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development is the global follow-up and review platform of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was adopted on 25 September 2015 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The HLPF adopts a Ministerial Declaration and provides political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and follow up; keeps track of progress of the SDGs; spurs coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences; as well as addresses new and emerging issues. Read our newsletter for more details on national perspectives on the HLPF from Egypt, Germany, and Madagascar, as well as a global point of view.

The HLPF was organized with the first five days consisting of interactive roundtable discussions revolving around the theme of “ensuring that no one is left behind.” The last three days made up the ministerial segment, which included two final days of National Voluntary Reviews (NVRs) and ended with the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration. This year’s HLPF also showcased a range of side events, a Partnership Exchange event, and SDGs Learning, Training and Practice sessions.

Alt="Ambrose Murangira, Uganda National Association of the Deaf, Uganda presenting at the HLPF 2016"

Ambrose Murangira, Uganda National Association of the Deaf, Uganda presenting at the HLPF 2016

This year’s HLPF was the first convened after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and thus provides a model for future HLPFs to come. One new aspect this year was the inclusion of a two-day session of NVRs in which 22 countries provided their reviews of national implementation (or a baseline of what will take place) of the SDGs. Persons with disabilities were included in 9 of the 22 NVRs with explicit references from Egypt, Finland, France, Madagascar, Morocco, Norway, Sierra Leone, Samoa, and Togo. Thank you!

Persons with disabilities were incredibly visible and well represented with 22 disability advocates in attendance during the eight intense days representing the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities. This incredible and successful work was led by the International Disability Alliance (IDA). Thank you for this! For details on each day, please refer to International Disability Alliance’s excellent updates.

During the HLPF, the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities gave an impressive 16 interventions in the main sessions. One of these interventions was given by Abdulmajid Makni from Morocco who delivered the first civil society intervention on behalf of all Major Groups and other Stakeholders during the national voluntary reviews from Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Sierra Leone and Switzerland in the morning of 19 July. Additionally, persons with disabilities presented as panelists in at least 9 side events on themes of education, shrinking civil society, citizen-driven data, human rights, children, leave no one behind, and inclusion in the national review process.

Alt="Michael Herbst, Yetnebersh Nigussie, and José Maria Viera at the side event on the Contributions of Persons with Disabilities in the HLPF National Voluntary Reviews"

Michael Herbst, Yetnebersh Nigussie, and José Maria Viera at the side event on the Contributions of Persons with Disabilities in the HLPF National Voluntary Reviews

 

Monday, 18 July was our big day with two important and particularly relevant side events concurrently taking place. One was the IDA and International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) event on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the national review processes. CBM Germany’s Michael Herbst was one of the panelists discussing the German experience. The second event was over early action to leave no one behind organized by the Netherlands, Kenya, and Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Colin Allen presented on behalf of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities and was one of only two civil society presenters in the event. The event was extremely high level with opening words by Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Ministers and government officials from many countries, including Albania, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Tanzania, and the United Kingdom.

Quite positively, persons with disabilities and disability advocates from around the globe came together and collaborated as a group to promote the inclusion and rights of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the SDGs. This was a true example of solidarity, inclusion, and participation of persons with disabilities from the global South and North. Participants (in addition to those of us organizing from New York) hailed from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Ethiopia, Ghana, Greece, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Philippines, Spain, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Thank you to IDA for incredible leadership and organization in this process, we couldn’t have done it without you!

I’ll end with a line from Colin Allen’s final intervention on behalf of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities in front of a house full of Ministers right before the closing of the HLPF. Colin reminded Member States that many persons with disabilities were present and that they want to work with governments in the implementation of the SDGs. Yes!

For more information:

UN website on the HLPF

HLPF updates from International Disability Alliance