Tag Archives: HLPF

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

 

Upcoming Events at the UN in New York

In the next two months two important events for persons with disabilities will take place at the United Nations Headquarters: (1) the 9th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD (14-16 June) and (2) the High-level Political Forum (11-20 July). In addition, on 13 June a civil society forum will occur in the morning and a follow-up panel on the high-level meeting on disability and development (from 2013) in the afternoon. As CBM, we are quite involved in both events and will provide updates and outcomes as relevant. Please continue reading for background information and a timeline of key dates.

Conference of States Parties

Article 40 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) stipulates that “The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties (COSP) in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention.” COSP is special in that not all human rights treaty bodies have annual meetings of their States parties to report back on what they are doing. COSP creates the important space for persons with disabilities to meet fellow States parties, to network, and to share ideas and influence.

This year’s overarching theme of COSP is “Implementing the 2030 development agenda for all persons with disabilities: Leaving no one behind.” Sub-themes include:

  • Eliminating poverty and inequality for all persons with disabilities
  • Promoting the rights of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities
  • Enhancing accessibility to information and technology and inclusive development
  • Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD

High-level Political Forum

The High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development is the central platform for the global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015.

The HLPF, which adopts a Ministerial Declaration, is expected to start effectively delivering on its mandates to provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and follow-up, keep track of progress, spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences, as well as address new and emerging issues.

The theme of this year’s HLPF is “Ensuring that no one is left behind,” being quite relevant for the rights of persons with disabilities. Click here to read the draft program. Importantly, the HLPF will have national voluntary reviews of 22 countries and thematic reviews of progress on the SDGs, including cross-cutting issues, supported by reviews by the ECOSOC functional commissions and other inter-governmental bodies and forums. In New York in partnership with IDA, we have been reaching out to Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs) and partners in these 22 countries to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the reporting process, to disseminate and gather information, to find good practices and gaps, and assess the situation for the coming years.

A highlight is that our IDDC and IDA blog on the 2016 HLPF theme “Ensuring that no one is left behind” is featured on the UN Sustainable Development website this week. Click here to read more.

Please continue reading for dates of upcoming events and deadlines.

Timeline

15 May Countries giving national voluntary reviews at the HLPF 2016 will release short reports

15 May Deadline to apply to have a side event at COSP

1 June Deadline for online NGO registration for COSP

1 June Deadline to register to organize a side event at the HLPF

10 June Deadline to register to attend the HLPF

13 June (morning) Civil Society Forum

13 June (afternoon) Follow-up panel on the High-level Meeting on Disability and Development

14-16 June 9th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

11-20 July High-level Political Forum | Ministerial Days 18-20 July

18 July Partnership Exchange This will provide a space for dialogue among multi-stakeholder partnerships and government officials, policy makers, UN entities and major groups and other stakeholders, for showcasing the work of multi-stakeholder partnerships in supporting the achievement of the SDGs, ensuring that no one is left behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

 

Update and Summary of High-level Political Forum

From 26 June to 8 July 2015 the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was held under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (meaning that the Forum will have a link to this main UN organ while also keeping a distinct identity) at the UN Headquarters in New York. The HLPF met from 26 June to 8 July and the ministerial segment from 6-8 July. The theme was on “Strengthening integration, implementation and review – the HLPF after 2015.” The meeting consisted of moderated roundtable discussions among governments, the UN system, international and regional intergovernmental organizations, Major Groups and Other Stakeholders and brought together nearly 1800 delegates.

HLPF Background

The Forum was created at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (known as Rio+20) to follow up on the implementation of sustainable development commitments and to provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations. The Forum has particular significance as a key platform for follow-up and review of the new universal sustainable development agenda, which will be adopted by Member States in September 2015. As such, it is critical for persons with disabilities to engage with the Forum. Moreover, persons with disabilities are explicitly referenced as other stakeholders in paragraph 16 in resolution A/RES/67/290 adopted by the General Assembly on July 9, 2013 on the format and organizational aspects of the HLPF on sustainable development.

Alt="Risna Utami at the UN"

Risna Utami at the UN

As CBM we supported Risna Utami to attend the HLPF. She is CBM’s partner and founder and the Executive Director of OHANA (a local disability rights organization in Indonesia) and Chairwoman of the Indonesian Consortium for Disability Rights. Risna presented as a lead discussant in a roundtable on behalf of persons with disabilities and ageing persons on 6 July over the theme of emerging issues in sustainable development. Risna particularly highlighted the situation of persons with disabilities and ageing persons from the global South (continue reading for more details).

On 26 June – the opening of the HLPF – International Disability and Development Consortium, International Disability Alliance, Amnesty International, Beyond 2015 Campaign, SOS Children’s Villages and World Vision hosted a side event on “Civil Society Engagement and Citizens Participation in a Sustainable Development Era.” Members States present at the side event included Canada, Sweden, Colombia, Ireland and Brazil.

Alt="Civil Society colleagues from the HLPF side event"

Civil Society colleagues from the HLPF side event

Vladimir Cuk of IDA presented on behalf of persons with disabilities with key points including the following:

  • This new agenda is bringing hope and it critical in strengthening the involvement of persons with disabilities at national level.
  • Unless persons with disabilities are involved from the design and planning phase of the implementation of the post-2015 framework on national level, there will be NO inclusive society created for persons with disabilities.

On 30 June ECOSOC President Martin Sajdik of Austria held an interactive dialogue with Major Groups and Other Stakeholders. Orsolya Bartha of IDA presented on behalf of persons with disabilities. Her presentation was well received because of the concrete recommendations, which include:

  • The HLPF must evolve to a true inclusive-participatory global platform for the monitoring of the new sustainable development framework and therefore must support the establishment of a coordinated, open, transparent stakeholder participation that keeps the door open to new emerging actors.
  • The Forum must build on the strengths and experiences of existing national and regional processes therefore it must ensure that the implementation of the new agenda consolidates, complements and strengthens existing commitments including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Successful reviews can be conducted by using existing reporting mechanism that can incorporate progress achieved on the post-2015 implementation. For example Member States can report on progress achieved for persons with disabilities in front of the UNCRPD Committee as well as before the HLPF.
  • In order to further review progress made towards the inclusion of persons with disabilities we recommend that during the next 15 years (until 2030) at least one thematic session of the HLPF be dedicated to persons with disabilities.
  • We would like to recommend the establishment of an ongoing thematic working group on the mainstreaming of the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda. Such group would review and offer policy and technical advice to the Forum and Member States on the mainstreaming of the rights of persons with disabilities. In addition it would provide technical expertise on how NOT to create or perpetuate institutional, attitudinal, physical, legal and information and communications technology (ICT) barriers to the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities.
  • We hope that the HLPF will safeguard the participation of persons with disabilities at all levels and provide necessary political guidance to Member States to include the rights of persons with disabilities in the implementation phase of the post-2015 development agenda and ensure that persons with disabilities are lifted out of poverty and regarded as a contributing agents of an inclusive society.
Alt="Vladimir Cuk presenting at the Ministerial opening plenary of the HLPF"

Vladimir Cuk presenting at the Ministerial opening plenary of the HLPF

On 6 July Vladimir Cuk presented at the Ministerial opening plenary of the HLPF “Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals: what it will take.” Vladimir was the only civil society representative in the opening plenary. A key point from Vladimir’s presentation include:

  • The inclusion of persons with disabilities will significantly contribute to the eradication of poverty. An inclusive society for all cannot be achieved without the empowerment of persons with disabilities across the globe. In order to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, the UNCRPD must serve as a foundation for the achievement of a society which values diversity, respects equality and realizes the full potential of persons with disabilities: building a better world for all.

Later in the afternoon on 6 July, Risna Utami was a lead discussant for the roundtable on “Thinking ahead: emerging issues that will matter in the future.” Risna spoke on behalf of persons with disabilities and older persons. She emphasized that as a woman with a disability from Indonesia that the inclusion of the most marginalized populations in the world in sustainable development, especially in the global South, is an emerging issue. In particular, the most disproportionately affected groups, including persons with disabilities and older persons need to be included as they are still largely left behind and excluded from development.

Alt="Risna Utami as a lead discussant at the HLPF"

Risna Utami as a lead discussant at the HLPF

Final points

 

Next steps

It will be critical to remind Member States to implement the post-2015 outcome after September. The HLPF will monitor the global follow-up and review of the future development framework. It is not yet clear exactly how this will be formulated, but the HLPF will play an important role in this process and thus the inclusion and active participation of persons with disabilities is essential for an inclusive framework that indeed leaves no one behind.

Alt="Great teamwork! Risna and me at the UN"

Great teamwork! Risna and me at the UN