Tag Archives: post-2015

Mental Health is the centre of attention at the World Bank this year: “Out of the shadows; making mental health a global priority”

Momenta's Project Sierra Leone 2015

The human toll of mental illness has started to be widely recognised for its impact on individuals and families. There is now much more awareness of, for example depression, due to stories in the media about famous people who are talking openly about their problems. Even the once taboo subject of suicide is now more openly acknowledged in society.  When someone like the comedian Robin Williams dies by suicide, it has the effect of reminding us that at least 1,000,000 people die in this way every year around the world. In many countries suicide is one of the top three causes of death in young people, but is often ignored or even denied as an issue.

CBM, along with many other partners in global development have long pointed out that mental illness and psychosocial disability also has an important impact on communities and broader society. Mental illness does not only cause personal suffering, but often results in social exclusion and lack of opportunity for large sectors of the population to contribute to the economy and community development. Since 85% of the people with mental conditions live in the poorest countries in the world, the impact is particularly marked on these fragile economies.

By 2030, depression is expected to become the single largest contributor to disease burden globally, and even today, 350 million people around the world are affected by depression. The sheer scale of this issue, and the well documented impact on people’s ability to work and actively engage in the economic life of a country has led the World Bank to focus on mental illness at their annual Spring Meeting in Washington in April. At last year’s World Economic Forum, careful analysis in a report by a Harvard group resulted in an estimate that the annual global costs of mental illness to the economy was 2.5 trillion dollars in 2010, a staggering number that was expected to rise to 6 trillion dollars by 2030.

The joint meeting, called ‘Out of the shadows, making mental health a global priority’ will be run by the World Bank and WHO, from April 13th to 15th in Washington. It will be a forum to examine how the major financial actors in global development can address this issue. These key funders and politically powerful groups can hopefully start to play their role, joining development organisations like CBM, and other groups like service user organisations and activists, so make more resources available and raise prioritisation of mental health.

CBM will be well represented at the meeting. Carmen Valle will be sharing our experiences of working in Sierra Leone with partners to build resilience and reduce the psychological impact of the Ebola epidemic. This is a part of Disaster Risk Reduction that is often not sufficiently recognised. Information about this project with our partners in Sierra Leone is here. She will also be talking about how our partners ensured that access to important public health messages, for example during an epidemic like the 2014/15 Ebola outbreak, can be accessible to all people, including people with disabilities.

I will be speaking during a panel discussion on the topic of mental health and people with sensory impairments. The main points are that

  • Mental ill health is much more common in people with sensory impairments, but is often not recognised.
  • Mental health components should be integrated into services for people with sensory impairments, for example ensuring that service users themselves, and health and education personnel, are made sensitive to these needs and are aware of how to address them
  • The barriers that people with sensory impairments face should be specifically addressed in messaging relating to mental health by paying attention to accessible formats (as in any other awareness and public health work).

Carmen and Julian will be Tweeting and Blogging from the meeting. Follow our our blog, Twitter and Facebook to get all the latest news about the WHO meetings in Washington DC (the hashtag for this event is #mentalhealthnow). You can also follow Dr. Julian Eaton and Dr. Carmen Valle on Twitter who will be tweeting live from the events.

Additional information on the Innovation Fair can be found here.


Julian Eaton

Mental Health Advisor, CBM

Post-2015 Consensus reached with Snapshot in Sign

In the evening of August 2nd at the UN in NY, the “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” reached consensus by Member States, to be adopted in September at the UN Summit.

The Agenda is people-centred, pledges to leave no-one behind and seeks to ensure, realize and protect the human rights of all.

Australia, Brazil and Ecuador included persons with disabilities in their closing and final national post-2015 statements. Thank you for your unwavering support!

The final document includes persons with disabilities with 11 explicit references (continue reading for details). Particularly strong is the paragraph on people who are vulnerable and must be empowered that references “persons with disabilities (of whom more than 80% live in poverty)” (para 23) putting persons with disabilities in the centre of poverty eradication throughout the Agenda.

Despite the references, some gaps remain and CBM would like to see explicit references to persons with disabilities in the health (para 26) and the gender paragraphs (para 20).

Explicit references to persons with disabilities


Human rights (para 19)

Vulnerable groups (para 23)

Education (para 25)

Sustainable Development Goals and targets

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

Follow-up and review

Data disaggregation (para 74,g)

Persons with disabilities are also included wherever vulnerable is referenced (18 times) throughout the text in line with paragraph 23. Additionally, there are indirect, yet strong references that include persons with disabilities. These include the following:

Alt="Post-2015 Adoption"

Post-2015 Adoption







Exact Language


Para 19

We reaffirm the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other international instruments relating to human rights and international law. We emphasize the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, “disability” or other status.

Para 23

People who are vulnerable must be empowered. Those whose needs are reflected in the Agenda include all children, youth, persons with disabilities “(of whom more than 80% live in poverty)”, people living with HIV/AIDS, older persons, indigenous peoples, refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants. We resolve to take further effective measures and actions, in conformity with international law, to remove obstacles and constraints, strengthen support and meet the special needs of people living in areas affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and in areas affected by terrorism.

Para 25

We commit to providing inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels – early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary, technical and vocational training. All people, irrespective of sex, age, race, ethnicity, and “persons with disabilities”, migrants, indigenous peoples, children and youth, especially those in vulnerable situations, should have access to life-long learning opportunities that help 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, helping our countries to reap the demographic dividend including through safe schools and cohesive communities and families.

Sustainable Development Goals and targets

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 74 (g)

Follow-up and review processes at all levels will be guided by the following principles:

They will be rigorous and based on evidence, informed by country-led evaluations and data which is high- quality, accessible, timely, reliable and disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migration status, “disability” and geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.

Indirect references


Para 11

We reaffirm the outcomes of all major UN conferences and summits which have laid a solid foundation for sustainable development and have helped to shape the new Agenda. These include the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; the World Summit on Sustainable Development; the World Summit for Social Development; the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the “Beijing Platform for Action”; and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+ 20”). We also reaffirm the follow-up to these conferences, including the outcomes of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, the “Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States”; the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries; and the “Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction”.

Means of Implementation

Para 42

We support the implementation of relevant strategies and programmes of action, including the Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action, the “SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway”, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024, and reaffirm the importance of supporting the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), all of which are integral to the new Agenda. We recognize the major challenge to the achievement of durable peace and sustainable development in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Follow-up and review

Para 47

Our Governments have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review, at the national, regional and global levels, in relation to the progress made in implementing the Goals and targets over the coming fifteen years. To support accountability to our citizens, we will provide for systematic follow-up and review at the various levels, as set out in this Agenda and the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda”. The High Level Political Forum under the auspices of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council will have the central role in overseeing follow-up and review at the global level.

Para 54

Sustainable development goals and targets

Following an inclusive process of intergovernmental negotiations, and based on the Proposal of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development

Goals1, which includes a “chapeau” contextualising the latter, the following are the Goals and targets which we have agreed.


Para 4

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.

Para 17

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.

Para 64

We support the implementation of relevant strategies and programmes of action, including the Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action, the “SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway”, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024, and reaffirm the importance of supporting the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), all of which are integral to the new Agenda. We recognize the major challenge to the achievement of durable peace and sustainable development in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Means of implementation and the Global Partnership

Global level

Para 89

The HLPF will support participation in follow-up and review processes by the major groups and other relevant stakeholders in line with “Resolution 67/290”. We call on these actors to report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda.

This Agenda is framework truly for the people and with the mobilization of the people in order to have a transformed planet with a sustainable and empowered society by 2030.

Click here for more information on the post-2015 process.


Post-2015 negotiations update

We just finished the seventh round of post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations that took place this week during 20-24 July in New York at the UN. Next week we will continue into the eighth and final round of negotiations when the final document will be agreed (we hope) on 31 July.

This week Member States gave national and group statements in response on the most recent draft outcome document, specifically over the declaration, SDGs, means of implementation, and follow-up and review.

All areas were quite important for persons with disabilities and our work, but particularly the follow-up and review processes and the discussion on the declaration. Since persons with disabilities were not included in the people paragraph of the declaration in the most recent draft document, in New York we advocated to Member States to push for an inclusion in this section. We had good response with explicit references to this inclusion from statements from the Republic of Korea (twice), Costa Rica, Iran, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Ecuador, Philippines, and Belize on behalf of CARICOM. In addition, Benin referenced the Sendai Framework for DRR, which is very good for persons with disabilities. Read more here for details on this. Specifically, Benin referenced 33(o) “To enhance recovery schemes to provide psychosocial support and mental health services for all people in need.” Thank you all for the strong support!

Key points from this week

  • No new goals, targets or other fundamental changes will be introduced in the final draft.
  • Member States ranged from giving a full endorsement of the AAAA to a more lukewarm welcome of it.
  • There was discussion on if the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) should be attached in an annex or reflected in the final outcome document. G77 and China consider the AAAA as a complementary document to the post-2015, but that it should not replace the post-2015 means of implementation.
  • Member States debated on the means of implementation targets and whether to duplicate them within the draft document in both chapters 2 and 3 or just to have them listed once.
  • For the follow-up and review processes co-facilitators hope to have a comprehensive system at the national level with a complementary regional level process and a global follow-up and review process. The global process will take place with ministers every year and heads of state every four years to follow-up and review the future development goals and targets.
  • Next week, Member States will not provide long statements or debates, but rather an interactive exchange of views as it is the closing week for tying up loose ends and concluding.
  • Co-facilitators stated that the final outcome draft would not be a major restructuring of the latest draft version.
  • Co-facilitators hope to present a draft for adoption by latest on Monday.

Update on indicators

The UN Statistics Division (UN Stats) has released a document with a tentative timeline, work plan and organization of work of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on the Sustainable Development Goals Indicators (IAEG-SDGs). Click here for details. In addition, click here for the new list of indicators that was released on 7 July.

Important dates

11 August: First list of possible indicators finalized

11 August to 4 September: Deadline for IAEG-SDGs members for inputs on the first list of possible indicators

21 September: Updated list of possible indicators circulated to all stakeholders

15 October: Deadline for final comments on updated list of possible indicators

26-28 October: Second IAEG-SDGs meetings to review work done and remaining issues

16 November: Deadline for final minor amendments on indicator proposal

30 November: Submission document by the IAEG-SDGs on an indicator proposal to 47th Session of the UNSC (to take place in NY during 8-11 March, 2016)

Additional information

Sustainable Development Goal Indicators website

IDA and IDDC Press Release on Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on 21 July 2015


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