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Are we on track for mobilizing the trillions we need for the SDGs

"Persons with disabilities do not adequately benefit from public funds. Their rights must therefore be integrated in budget processes and States must put in place legislations to ensure that the most marginalized persons have access to affordable and quality financial services", says WBU CEO and Representative of UN Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Jose Viera.

He was speaking at a High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development​ of the General Assembly - ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum). The Forum was convened by the President of ECOSOC from 15 to 18 April 2019 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The event brought together ministers, high-level officials from ministries of finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation, Executive Directors of the World Bank and IMF, as well as senior officials from the UN system, including the major institutional stakeholders, and other international organizations. Civil society organizations, the business sector and local authorities are also be represented.

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In his presentation titled " Are we on track for mobilizing the trillions we need for the SDGs?", Viera recommended that the rights of persons with disabilities must be integrated throughout budget processes and existing expenditures must fully align with commitments on the rights of persons with disabilities. 

Read the full presentation below: 

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), Member States committed to leave no one behind. The 2030 Agenda and the AAAA reflect the critical long-awaited political commitments of Member States toward ending poverty, reducing inequalities, and saving the planet. Four years into the implementation process very little of these have been translated into financial commitments. Globally, persons with disabilities - 15 percent of the world’s population - do not adequately benefit from funds and resources spent by public sector, from the actions of the private sector, or economic, social and cultural development. Persons with disabilities face widespread exclusion from all areas of society and experience higher rates of poverty and deprivation and lower levels of income than the general population. This stems from pervasive discrimination and stigma, unequal opportunities, and physical and attitudinal barriers. During recent economic crises, many countries have reduced public funds that support social participation of persons with disabilities. Consequently, the poverty rate has increased for persons with disabilities and their families. Furthermore, without access to digital infrastructure and accessible ICT, persons with disabilities are at risk to be excluded from statistics and surveys, which leads to exclusion from programs and policies.
 
These same factors also mean that the rights of persons with disabilities are not adequately addressed in tax and budget policies, poverty-reduction programs, social protection floors, development programs and funds, and engagement with regulation of the private sector. Consequently, promoting equity must be addressed at the center of all of these policies.
 
Development finance must be people-centered and based on human rights, which requires normative and systematic reform in order for countries to generate the requisite resources to deliver a sustainable agenda. As such, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development must become an integral part of national policy commitments that are matched with system-wide resource allocation and include commitments on disability spending.

We recommend:
that existing expenditure fully aligns with commitments on the rights of persons with disabilities;
that the rights of persons with disabilities are integrated throughout the budget process; and 
that Member States put in place legislation to ensure the most marginalized have access to accessible, available, affordable and quality financial services. 

In closing, a rights-based response to economic crises could be lifting persons with disabilities and their families out of poverty, and would contribute to the achievement of inclusive growth and sustainable development.

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The 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report (FSDR) of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development warns that mobilizing sufficient financing remains a major challenge in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Despite signs of progress, investments that are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remain underfunded and parts of the multilateral system are under strain.​ Read more on the UN-ESA website.​