Development and human rights for all

Panel discussion: Towards a disability-inclusive post-2015 development framework: Regional perspectives

Side-event to the 51st session of the Commission for Social Development. 12 February 2013, Conference Room 4, 1.15 – 2.30 pm, United Nations Headquarters


The United Nations General Assembly will hold a High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development with the overarching theme “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond”. The meeting will take place at the level of Heads of States and Government on 23 September 2013, at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The High-level Meeting is expected to result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document, which would enable the international community to advance a disability-inclusive development agenda, in alignment with existing international commitments.

The Secretary General’s report submitted to the 67th session of the General Assembly discussed on-going progress made in the implementation of the MDGs in policies and programmes related to persons with disabilities and provided recommendations on priority areas for inclusion in the outcome of the high-level meeting, as well as in ongoing efforts to mainstream disability in the development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.

The four priority areas for a disability-inclusive development agenda we identified and are: (1) strengthening and applying the international framework on disability; (2) promotion of accessibility; (3) capacity development and (4) the strengthening of disability data and statistics.

Furthermore, the Secretary General’s report to the 51st session of the Commission for Social Development provides specific recommendations at all levels including at the regional level for promoting a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond. The report makes recommendations to the United Nations Regional Commissions to promote the implementation of any outcome document of the High level Meeting and support the integration of its elements into existing regional policy frameworks on disability and development.

Panel discussion on Disability-inclusive development: Regional perspectives

See Background Note, Flyer, Unedited CART Transcript and Webcast (archive)

The panel discussion will focus on regional perspectives on mainstreaming disability in development as a contribution to the on-going preparatory process toward the High-level meeting. Building on the on-going consultations on a post-2015 development framework, the discussion will highlight current efforts to mainstream disability in regional and national policies and frameworks on development. Participant are invited to provide new thinking and innovative ideas to ensure that the development framework for the post-2015 be inclusive of persons with disabilities and their perspectives.

The Panel will consist of high-level panellists from United Nations Regional Commissions.

Welcoming remarks: Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations

Opening remarks: H.E. Mr. Fernando Arias, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations/co-facilitator of the High Level Meeting on Disability and Development

Moderator: Mr. Lawrence Carter-Long (Public Affairs Specialist, National Council on Disability, USA)


  • Ms. Vitalija Gaucaite Wittich, UN Economic Commission for Europe (Presentation)
  • Ms. Nanda Nanda Krairiksh, UN Economic Commission for Asia and Pacific (Presentation)
  • Ms. Gisela Nauk, UN Economic Commission for Western Asia (Presentation)
  • Ms. Diane Almeras, UN Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (Presentation)
  • Ms. Thokozile Ruzvidzo, UN Economic Commission for Africa

In their presentations, the Panellists will focus on the following four areas::

  1. How to strengthen the application of existing regional action frameworks to guide the inclusion of rights of persons with disabilities in society and development based on priorities and challenges identified at the national, regional level;
  2. Existing gaps, priorities and next steps to: improve accessibility; availability of disability data and statistics and build capacity within their respective regions;
  3. Discuss the role of the United Nations Regional Commissions in strengthening the commitments at the global level and how regional mechanism can be utilized to strengthen the inclusion of disability in the post 2015 development agenda (specific reference can be made on how to impact the ongoing thematic and national consultations on the post-2015 development framework)
  4. Share knowledge and good practices, as appropriate, as a contribution to the inputs to the HLMDD, highlighting specific policy interventions on disability mainstreaming within their respective regions which will be useful for other countries.