FOCUS ON – 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Leave no one behind !

Posted by: on Sep 25, 2015 | No Comments

The United Nations in New York have adopted the Sustainable Development Agenda on the 25 September 2015: “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, an agenda made by and for people calling for a transformed planet with a sustainable and empowered society by 2030.

It was a historical day for the development world. Fifteen years after the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals, a new ambitious and internationally agreed set of goals and objectives will enter into force. The Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] will pursue those efforts, aiming at bettering the conditions of millions of people living in less resourced settings and preserving our planet.


It was also a historical day also for the disability community. Persons with disabilities, who have been forgotten in the previous framework and left behind from development efforts, can now rely on this new instrument to count them in, and are at the center of poverty eradication throughout the agenda. The text entails several explicit and indirect references, the use of more inclusive language and specifically requires monitoring processes to disaggregate data by disability. Particularly strong is the statement in the Declaration that “people who are vulnerable must be empowered” that references “persons with disabilities (of whom more than 80% live in poverty)”.

Handicap International has been involved into this participatory process, along with allies from the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and together with the disability community through the International Disability Alliance (IDA). We have contributed to advocacy efforts, giving inputs during consultations to push for inclusiveness, mobilizing Member States during meetings  and participating to discussions around indicators. We also pushed for the participation of persons with disability to the process, including thanks to the Making It Work project which had, this year, a focus on violence against women and girls with disabilities.

This represents a huge success and the disability community should surely celebrate this. We should also keep in mind that the document is the result of a political agreement, and that constant vigilance will be required now onwards to avoid that human rights standards are diminished, especially for most discriminated groups, such as women with disabilities, or people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities. If SDGs are truly universal, they should be for all and not for most.

The outcome document is only a first step towards a more equitable and inclusive society. In March 2016, this document will be accompanied by a set of indicators negotiated with Members Sates and setting the tone for each goal and translating their political will hopefully into ambitious, measurable and monitorable commitments. Keeping in mind that “what gets measured gets done”, Handicap International therefore calls Member States to ensure the level of ambition of the SDGs is reflected in the discussions on indicators, with clear obligations to collect and disaggregate data by disability. We will also continue advocating for the participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, for them not only to be part of this process but also to play their role, as agents of change on equal basis with others for the implementation, monitoring and revision of this new instrument.

To read the tribune published in the Huffington Post by Florence Daunis, Directrice des Opérations et des Ressources Techniques -Handicap International, click here

To view the easy read introduction to the SDGs elaborated by IDDC, click here.

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