Tag Archives: SDGs

The HLPF is over, now what?

The High-level Political Forum took place from 9-18 July and focused on transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under review included 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 17. During the second week, 46 countries presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on SDG implementation. During these VNR presentations, persons with disabilities were included 36 times largely stemming from advocacy from various stakeholders at the global, regional, and national levels via the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities.

Alt="Our DPO partner, Mohammed Loutfy, speaking about persons with disabilities in Lebanon to Ghasan Hasbani Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health of Lebanon at the HLPF"

Our DPO partner, Mohammed Loutfy, speaking about persons with disabilities to Ghasan Hasbani Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health of Lebanon at the HLPF

 

The 36 references include references to persons with disabilities in VNR presentations, civil society presentations with questions to the government, and/or government responses to other government or civil society questions. The countries in bold are where CBM was directly or indirectly involved in advocacy. Thank you to everyone who helped in this process!

 

 

 

Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Namibia, Niger, Palestine, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Now that the HLPF has concluded, it is important for DPOs and advocates to follow up with their government to assess outcomes and build partnerships at the national level. Not all countries have HLPF follow-up mechanisms in place, but it is important to remind political leaders that this is not a one-time obligation, but rather that this needs to be an ongoing permanent dialogue. The national follow-up mechanism should be a constructive approach to address issues raised in the global-level review process, or issues that have been left out. The following are some key points on how to initiate and participate in a follow-up process after the HLPF at the national level:

  • Watch your country’s voluntary national review on UN Web TV and in addition analyze the submissions (short and long) written reports (in some cases the reports differ from the presentations). On the basis of the analysis, prepare an advocacy paper highlighting issues that were addressed and also those left out.
  • Find out if there is a follow-up mechanism on the HLPF planned by your government.
  • (Re)connect with mainstream civil society coalitions to collaborate and propose to the government to establish a follow-up mechanism.
  • Contact and arrange meetings with the Ministry/Minister who presented at the HLPF with your advocacy paper prepared (refer above).
  • Advocate to establish synergies with other existing national follow-up or review mechanisms, such as national consultations on the SDG implementation plan, national development plan (often linked to the SDGs), and national human rights review mechanisms.
  • Propose a partnership to your government and consider engaging with the International Disability Alliance and International Disability and Development Consortium Partnership on SDGs.

These suggestions are from the CBM and International Disability Alliance Toolkit for DPOs on the Voluntary National Reviews.

Additional Information:

Resilient societies, the SDGs, and leaving no one behind

Resilient societies, the SDGs, and leaving no one behind

The High-level Political Forum took place from 9-18 July at the UN in New York with the theme of “transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” The Goals under review included 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 17. The first week of the Forum included numerous panels and round tables focused on the theme and the SDGs under review and the second week provided the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

On a very positive note for persons with disabilities and accessibility, Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, the UN’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility presented in the opening of the Forum. Her presentation focused on different areas, including accessibility. For example, she stated that if technology is not accessible, it will become one more barrier for millions of people throughout the world, such as, persons with disabilities, older persons and other sectors. In addition, persons with disabilities made up a large group at the Forum with 31 participants with disabilities and advocates from around the world as part of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities.

Alt="Participants of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities at HLPF 2018"

Participants of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities at HLPF 2018

CBM co-sponsored a side event the first week with the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities and others on Goal 11: Inclusion of persons with disabilities in societies. The event was very well attended with 70 attendees and had an interactive and lively dialogue.

During the second week, 46 countries presented their national reviews of SDG implementation. During these three Ministerial days of VNR presentations, persons with disabilities were included 36 times. In addition, some national videos included captions, one video (from Ireland) included a deaf child signing, and Namibia included a Namibian Sign Language interpreter on the screen for its entire video!

Also, six persons with disabilities presented official statements with questions to countries during their VNRs, including to Greece, Lebanon, Malta, Namibia, Niger, and Switzerland. One of our participants from the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities presented questions to Namibia in International Sign, which was the first time this was done during a VNR at the UN.

Alt="Our DPO partner from Vietnam, Lan Anh, presented various times during the Forum"

Our DPO partner from Vietnam, Lan Anh, presented various times during the Forum

 

 

On 18 July, the 2018 HLPF Ministerial Declaration was adopted with three references to persons with disabilities: on disaggregated data (para 18), commitment to leave no one behind (para 11), and in WASH (para 23).

 

 

 

As the focal point on accessibility for the HLPF, long-term collaboration with the UN produced positive outcomes during the Forum, including:

  • Wheelchair users had access CR 4 on the ground floor and Trusteeship Council Chamber on the second floor for access to the presentations;
  • CART services were provided in person, online, and on webcast for all eight days of the HLPF;
  • Seating was reserved for persons with disabilities in all rooms being used;
  • The UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform was accessible;
  • Persons with disabilities and their personal assistants were able to register and obtain passes easily and personal assistants were not considered participants (when there was a maximum number permitted);
  • International Sign was provided for three days at the Ministerial Segment;
  • Documents and presentations were shared prior to events for CART providers and sign language interpreters;
  • The HLPF agenda and other documents were provided in Braille;
  • The UN set up an accessibility walk-through in advance of the HLPF;
  • The UN staff positively collaborated with us in various areas (room, technology, accessibility services, and interpretation).

A very big thanks to the UN for this work and positive collaboration that we hope continues and also continues to improve to ensure no one is left behind.

Persons with disabilities included in financing for development outcome document

The 2018 Financing for Development (FfD) Forum is currently taking place this week (23-26 April) at the UN Headquarters in New York focusing on the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Forum is structured with a ministerial session on the first two days and an expert session during the final two days.

Unlike former Forums, persons with disabilities have been strongly included in this year’s Forum as a result of long-term advocacy. The first presentation in the opening session of the Forum, the President of the Economic and Social Council, Marie Chatardová said that financing for development needs to be accessible and to leave no one behind, including for persons with disabilities.

Additionally, the Forum’s inter-governmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations are inclusive with three explicit references to persons with disabilities – for the first time! This outcome document is important as it feeds into the overall follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The references are found in paragraphs 15, 27, and 30 highlighting gaps in financial inclusion; the need to strengthen education, employment, and social protection policies; and efforts to collect, analyse and disseminate disaggregated data for persons with disabilities. Exact language is below.

“We recognize recent progress in financial inclusion, but note that gaps still remain for women, people in rural and remote areas, elderly people, youth, migrants, forcibly displaced persons and people with disabilities, as well as for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and businesses and enterprises in the social and solidarity economy operating in both formal and informal sectors” (para 15).

Science, technology, innovation and capacity-building: “We will support lifelong learning and skill acquisition for all, including entrepreneurial skills, adapt and strengthen employment, decent work and social protection policies and measures for all, as appropriate, and make efforts to address continued gender disparities and enhance inclusion of people in vulnerable situations, including for young people and persons with disabilities” (para 27).

Data, monitoring and follow-up: “We will strengthen our efforts to collect, analyse and disseminate data, disaggregated by sex, age, disability and other characteristics relevant in national contexts, including at the national, subnational and local levels, and gender statistics to improve policy design and implementation with regards to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls” (para 30).

It is very positive that persons with disabilities are included in the FfD outcome document, although the document lacks solutions on how to address these gaps. As a way forward, we need to focus on practical solutions on addressing these gaps, particularly at the national level, focusing on a full, participatory, and human rights approach.

 

Disability Disaggregation and the SDGs

The seventh meeting of the UN’s expert group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs) was held in Vienna from 9-12 April.

We are very pleased that our long-term advocacy on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the global indicator framework process is producing positive outcomes. One outcome is that the structure of this meeting improved to be more inclusive of stakeholders. Changing from previous sessions, there was only one day of closed sessions with the following three days open to all countries, international and regional agencies and entities, and other stakeholders. Additionally, stakeholders could make interventions in each session during these three days.

The meeting focused on several topics. The most pertinent for persons with disabilities and our advocacy were the (1) discussion on progress made on the work stream on data disaggregation and (2) experiences on implementing monitoring of the SDGs. Also, new and updated documents were shared. Relevant for persons with disabilities, we are quite pleased that the Working Document “Overview of standards for data disaggregation” included all the inputs from the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, which includes the Priority List of Indicators that should be Disaggregated by Disability.

The session on data disaggregation was quite inclusive of persons with disabilities. OHCHR presented during the session and included disaggregation by disability and also referenced CRPD Article 31 on statistics and data collection. Click here for the full presentation. In addition, UN Women mentioned that the Washington Group was a good tool for data collection. Most impressive was that UNICEF presented specifically on disability disaggregation focusing much on the recent disability data disaggregation meeting in New York with UN Agencies, IDDC, IDA, and others. You can see some of the presentation slides here. The priority list of SDG indicators, again, was included. Click here for the full presentation.

Later in the meeting, disability data was mentioned again by UN Women and also by the National Statistical Office (NSO) from Egypt on SDG data that they are collecting.

Although this is very positive, there is an underlying trend that disability data is not being collected by NSOs for SDG monitoring. Furthermore, connections between global and national processes need to be strengthened.

What can we do? Suggestions are to:

  • continue to monitor and engage with the global process (the 8th IAEG-SDGs meeting will be held in November 2018);
  • build capacity of DPOs at the national level to engage in data advocacy; and
  • focus on data projects at the national level that are framed around SDG indicators with the engagement of NSOs, UN Country Teams, and DPOs.