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Reaffirmed commitment of UN Secretary General for inclusive development in post MDG

This is to draw your attention to good news from the consultation process leading towards the post 2015 development agenda. The highly anticipated report of UN Secretary-General (UNSG) was published yesterday and it introduces six well-placed references to persons with disabilities. This report is the culmination of the consultation process that started in 2012, including the work and the report of the High-Level Panel on Post 2015 Development Agenda, World We Want, and My World websites. 
 
The Report reviews the millennium development goals to date as well as discusses a new post 2015 era. In the introduction of the report, Secretary-General recognizes that regardless of substantial progress in achieving the millennium development goals " far too many people face serious deprivation and inequalities related to income, gender, ethnicity, disability, age and location."
 
In the 2nd section of the report on achieving the millennium development goals and accelerating progress, Secretary-General calls for stronger efforts in proving the quality of education and lifelong learning opportunities especially for girls and women, those belonging to ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and children living in conflict affected areas, rural areas or urban slums. In the same section, the report calls for particular attention to the needs and rights of the most vulnerable and excluded such as people with disabilities.
 
In the 3rd section on the advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015, the report further addresses persons with disabilities. In the paragraph that addresses inclusive and sustainable growth and decent employment, the report calls for focusing labor market policies to people with disabilities.
Very importantly, when setting the goals for the post  2015 development agenda, disability is recognized as one of the cross-cutting issues that needs to be taken into account when designing goals and targets. This is probably the most relevant reference.
  
Finally, Secretary-General suggested that the final phase of the intergovernmental consultation on post 2015 could draw on the outcomes of several intergovernmental events, including the high-level meeting on disability and development.
   
Based on this, I believe that we can be pleased with the progress achieved. This report needs to be viewed together with the draft Outcome Document of the Special Event on Millennium Development Goals which doesn't recognize persons with disabilities per se, but provides several entry points for further advocacy.
  
Please see below the paragraphs that include persons with disabilities:
A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015
 
Report of the Secretary-General
I.              Introduction
6. There has been substantial progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and several successes in reaching specific targets globally and in individual countries. However, the prospects for achieving all of the Goals differ sharply across and within countries and regions. More than a billion people still live in extreme poverty.
Far too many people face serious deprivation in health and education, with progress hampered by significant inequality related to income, gender, ethnicity, disability, age and location. The prolonged global economic downturn and violent conflicts in recent years have exacerbated poverty, inequality and exclusion. Biodiversity loss, the degradation of water, drylands and forests and the intensifying risks of climate change threaten to reverse our achievements to date and undermine any future gains.
 
II. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and accelerating progress
A. Where do we stand on the Goals?
25. We risk failing to keep our promise to enable all children to go to school. The number of children out of primary school declined from 102 million to 57 million between 2000 and 2011. But progress has slowed significantly over the past five years. Without renewed efforts, the target of universal primary education by 2015 seems beyond reach, particularly in conflict-affected countries. Half the world’s out-of-school children live in sub-Saharan Africa, with the gap largest for children and adolescents from the poorest households. Stronger efforts are needed to improve the quality of education and provide lifelong learning opportunities, especially for girls and women, those belonging to ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and children living in conflict-affected areas, rural areas or urban slums.
C. Accelerating progress towards the Goals to 2015
55. Together, we need to focus on those Goals that are most off-track and on countries that face particular development challenges, including the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and countries affected by or recovering from conflicts or disasters. In so doing, we must pay particular attention to the needs and rights of the most vulnerable and excluded, such as women, children, the elderly, indigenous people, refugees and displaced families, as well as people with disabilities and those living in poor rural areas and urban slums.
 
III. Advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015
A. Vision and transformative actions of the agenda
90. Promote inclusive and sustainable growth and decent employment. This can be achieved by economic diversification, financial inclusion, efficient infrastructure, productivity gains, trade, sustainable energy, relevant education and skills training. Labour market policies should focus in particular on young people, women and people with disabilities.
C. Setting goals for the agenda
111. Goals and targets should take into account cross-cutting issues such as gender, disability, age and other factors leading to inequality, human rights, demographics, migration and partnerships. The new goals should embrace the emphasis on human well-being and include the use of metrics that go beyond standard income measures, such as surveys​ of subjective well-being and happiness, as introduced by many countries and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
D. Towards the formulation and launch of the agenda
114. The General Assembly could launch the final phase of the intergovernmental consultations on a post-2015 development agenda at its sixty-ninth session. Those consultations could draw on the outcomes of several intergovernmental events, including the high-level meeting on disability and development, to be held in September, the high-level dialogue on international migration and development, to be held in October, the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, the climate change summit in 2014 as well as the next conference on financing for development. Our goal must be to make 2015 a defining moment for people and the planet and to show what the United Nations and Member States, working together, can achieve.
 
Please find attached report both in Word and PDF formats.

 
This analysis of the SGR Report was done by:
 
Dr. Victor John Cordeiro
Advocacy Coordinator
World Blind Union
E. adco.wbu@gmail.com


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