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Volume 18, No.06 - June 2014

Global dialogue on development


Securing a disability-inclusive development agenda

persons with disabilitiesThe seventh session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) will take place from 10 to 12 June at UN Headquarters in New York.

Government delegates, experts, disability advocates and practitioners, representatives of civil society organizations, including organizations of persons with disabilities from around the world, will come together to discuss challenges faced and progress made in efforts to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and to advance the global disability agenda.

Since the landmark Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in 2006, its global support by Governments has been growing, amounting to 145 ratifications and 158 signatories to-date. The Convention entered into force in 2008, which called for the convening of the Conference of States Parties (COSP), in accordance with its Article 40.

This year, the seventh session of the Conference will take place at UN Headquarters and it will be opened by UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The session will include the election of nine members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and feature two roundtable discussions and one informal discussion to cover issues relating to incorporating the provisions of the CRPD in the post-2015 development agenda, national implementation and monitoring, and youth with disabilities. An interactive dialogue between States Parties and the UN system on the implementation of the CRPD will take place on the last afternoon of the Conference.

In conjunction with the COSP, UN DESA will support side-events, organized by Governments, the UN system, and civil society organizations, particularly organizations of persons with disabilities. Additionally, on 11 and 13 June, the “DESA Forum on Disability and Development” will discuss issues related to disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and resilience, and financial inclusion for inclusive and sustainable development from a disability perspective. These meetings aim to contribute to the ongoing discourse on sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda.

The broad support for the Convention by the international community in terms of ratifications and signatories has yet to be realized in the full inclusion of disability in development efforts and the well-being of persons with disabilities, worldwide. Since the last session of the COSP, the General Assembly convened the High-level meeting on disability and development (HLMDD) at the level of Heads of States on 23 September 2013, to address this gap. At the HLMDD, the General Assembly negotiated and adopted an outcome document calling for actions to further promote a disability-inclusive development agenda.

Increasingly, people around the world ask questions on how the post-2015 development framework could be made more sustainable, equitable and truly inclusive of persons with disabilities? With this backdrop, this year’s Conference of State Parties will primarily focus on the implementation of the Convention for a disability-inclusive development agenda, especially in the post-2015 development agenda, for which ongoing processes are taking place at UN Headquarters.

Indeed, we find ourselves at a critical junction. It is imperative to make every effort to include the one billion persons with disabilities in internationally agreed development goals, as for without the inclusion of 15 per cent of the world’s population, it would be impossible to achieve any internationally agreed development goal.

For more information: United Nations ENABLE 

Focus area on ‘promoting equality’ to be added to OWG’s working document

promoting equalityAs the eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals concluded on 9 May, the Group’s co-chairs welcomed its outcome, with many concrete suggestions on targets made by delegations. The next session will be held in New York on 16-20 June.

In their closing remarks at the eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals on 9 May, the Group’s co-chairs, Ambassador Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary, and Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, welcomed the outcome of the week’s deliberations, referring to the very many concrete suggestions on targets made by delegations. The next session of the Open Working Group will be held in New York on 16-20 June.

Ambassador Kamau highlighted four areas in which the co-chairs see a particular need for more work, namely equality, climate change, means of implementation, and ‘peaceful and inclusive societies, rule of law and capable institutions.’

He said that, responding to calls from many delegations, the new iteration of the working document would contain an additional goal on promoting equality, bringing the number of focus areas to 17. This new iteration will be issued by the co-chairs shortly. The Ambassador also said that the co-chairs are “very emphatic that it would not be a good idea to end up with too many focus areas,” and encouraged members of the Group to keep thinking of how to cluster some of them better.

The session ended on a high note, with delegations greeting the co-chairs’ proposal on the way forward with acclaim. At the next session, the co-chairs intend to proceed by obtaining agreement on targets one by one. Informal-informals will be held from 9 to 11 June, in the week before the 12th session of the Open Working Group, with the aim of removing potential stumbling blocks to progress. A draft chapeau has been produced and is available on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

As in previous sessions, the Open Working Group continued holding morning meetings with Major Groups and other stakeholders. The Group’s twelfth session will take place from 16 to 20th June.

For more information:

Eleventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Twelfth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

 

Making final preparations for UN Conference on Small Island Developing States

Apia copyThe final meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will be held from 23 to 27 June at UN Headquarters in New York.

UN Member States will conclude the preparatory work for the Conference, which will take place from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa. They will also aim to finalize the outcome document by the end of the PrepCom. UN Agencies and Major Groups and other Stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide inputs.

A number of side events will take place during the PrepCom. On 23 June, the Office of the Under-Secretary-General, UN DESA, and the Permanent Mission of Samoa will organize a joint outreach event for the SIDS Conference, and the International Organization of La Francophonie is hosting an event entitled Initiative de partenariat sur le Tourisme Durable adapté au contexte et aux besoins des PEID, which will look into Sustainable Tourism in SIDS.

On the same day, an event on private sector partnerships in support of SIDS’ sustainable development will be organized by UN-OHRLLS. It will showcase the Private Sector Partnerships Forum that will be held at the SIDS Conference. On 25 June, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Mauritius Ministry for Environment will hold an event on ‘SIDS for Sustainable Consumption and Production: re-thinking food and tourism’.

UN Women will organize an event on promoting gender equality as a prerequisite for addressing climate change and sustainable development and IRENA will host an event entitled ‘SIDS- Lighthouses for a transition to a sustainable energy future’. On 26 June, an event looking at the three top recommendations for the post-2015 agenda from the SIDS perspective will be organized by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), on behalf of the UN Development Group (UNDG).

Plans are ongoing for a photo exhibition during the PrepCom, which will feature photos from the ‘Islands 2014 photo call’. The call is part of the celebrations for the International Year of Small Island Developing States, and asks for images that showcase the beauty and richness of small island developing States to be sent by 6 June. Photos can be entered under three categories: culture, environment and development. A series of lunchtime lectures on topics related to the International Year of SIDS is also being planned.

For more information:

Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Islands 2014 photo call