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Wrapping up 2017 and looking ahead to 2018

Image of two global leaders on disability issues in conversation outside a UN conference roomIn 2017, a number of ‘transformative’ initiatives were taken by the international community to make the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development a reality by, for and with persons with disabilities.

The 2030 Agenda with the principle of “leaving no one behind” calls for immediate action toward inclusive society and development, taking a “people-centered” approach. Our work is dedicated to support action by Governments, other UN offices, civil society, in particular, persons with disabilities, academic institutions, and the private sector to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality for ALL, including persons with disabilities, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

As the international community, we need to make every action, every decision and every progress in the SDGs be accessible by, for and with persons with disabilities.

Let us revisit our progress last year:

To respond to the General Assembly resolution 69/142, rich progress was made in evidence-based research on the situation of persons with disabilities in preparation for the first-ever United Nations Flagship Report on Disability and Development.   The SCRPD is addressing all SDGs through the SCRPD Expert Network and its Disability-Inclusive SDG Working Group to continue its priority efforts to advance research on disability and development.  The UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development: Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities will be issued this fall.

Furthermore, a new General Assembly resolution on women and girls with disabilities was unanimously adopted in November last year. The resolution is the first of its kind with a thematic focus of the CRPD, to pursue a more accessible and inclusive society for all. The General Assembly also proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf. The Day will first be observed in 2018.

The highest number of participants was recorded at the 10th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD (COSP) this year – more than 1,200 delegates and observers from Member States, UN entities, academia, NGOs, and Disabled Persons’ Organizations that filled every meeting and every side event at the Conference,  a true testimony of the energetic multi-stakeholder engagement and new platforms on disability-inclusive SDGs in alignment with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Read more: 2018 New Year Greetings from the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD), UNDESA DSPD (PDF)