ALERT – Calling for inclusion and accessibility in cities : HI joins #Cities4All

Posted by: on Feb 12, 2019 | No Comments

Cities and local authorities are increasingly recognised as crucial actors in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In particular, they have a key role to play in the realization of more inclusive societies, where persons with disabilities participate in life on equal basis as others.

Picture cities4all“Localising SDGs” has become the mantra of international development and external aid. In practice, this means empowering local actors to respond to channel global goals into local actions, so that they can take appropriate and effective measures to address development challenges in line with a common, global ambition.

By 2050, cities will be home to two thirds of humanity. Growing urbanization, especially in low-income countries, may result in more inequalities and exacerbated marginalization of vulnerable persons. Urban development is in the spotlight, as a key element that shapes the future of our societies: the way we design, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate urban policies and programmes can make a difference in the lives of millions of people, and can be a real “enabler” for vulnerable persons, including persons with disabilities, who face higher physical, economic, social and cultural barriers to participate fully in society.

Working alongside local authorities and grassroots organisations on a range of issues (road safety and inclusive mobility, inclusive governance, access to health services, inclusive employment and education), Humanity & Inclusion has addressed and responded to urban challenges, with particular attention to persons with disabilities. In our advocacy work, we are increasingly contributing to and influencing political debates around the role of cities in promoting sustainable and inclusive development.

HI recently joined the “Cities for all” network, an initiative emerged out of the need for the voices of the global disability community in local and international decision-making processes guiding urban planning and development.

In the framework of this initiative, HI co-signed the Global Compact “Cities 4 all”, a joint document reaffirming the determination to create cities for all and to actively promote universal inclusion and accessibility of all persons in cities and human settlements, in particular persons with disabilities. The Global Compact builds on the New Urban Agenda and on the SDGS to set commitments in 5 critical areas: non-discrimination, accessibility, participation, inclusive urban policies and programs, and capacity-building.

Born at the end of 2018 on the initiative of Disability Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) and the NGO World Enabled, the “Cities for all” network now counts on partners from the UN system, from civil society, from corporate and academic worlds. An increasing number of cities have signed the Global Compact and more will hopefully join in the near future.

The “Cities for all” network will develop and carry-out a 5-year-long campaign leveraging political will towards inclusion and accessibility in urban settings, and HI will bring its voice in this movement. Stronger commitments from cities, from decentralized cooperation actors, and from the donor community are crucial to turn urbanization in an opportunity for all.

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