UN Disability and Development Report – Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities
The 2030 Agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind,” is an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity of an individual person and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle, cutting across the three pillars of the work of the United Nations: Development, Human Rights and Peace and Security. It is critical to ensure, in this regard, the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.
The UN Disability and Development Report – Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities represents the first United Nations system wide effort to examine disability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level. The report reviews data, policies and programmes and identifies best practices; and uses this evidence to outline recommended actions to promote the realization of the SDGs for persons with disabilities.
Over 200 experts from United Nations agencies and international financial institutions, Member States and civil society, including research institutions and organizations of persons with disabilities, contributed to this report. The report covers new areas for which no global research was previously available, for example, the role that access to energy plays in enabling persons with disabilities to use assistive technology. It also contains the first global compilation and analysis of internationally comparable data collected with the Washington Group on Disability Statistics Short Set of Questions.
The World Youth Report on “Youth and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), examines the mutually supportive roles of the new agenda and current youth development efforts. The report provides insight into the role of young people in sustainable development in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related frameworks, in particular, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the World Programme of Action for Youth.
The Report considers the role the 2030 Agenda can play in enhancing youth development efforts and examines how evidence-based youth policies can help accelerate youth-related objectives. It explores the critical role young people have in the implementation of sustainable development efforts at all levels.
Advancing Youth Development
Far from being mere beneficiaries of the 2030 Agenda, young people have been active architects in its development and continue to be engaged in the frameworks and processes that support its implementation, follow-up and review. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda represented the culmination of an extensive three-year process involving Member States and civil society, including youth organizations, in the development of specific goals and targets—and marked the beginning of a 15-year journey to achieve sustainable development by 2030.
Universal social protection is a potent development policy tool that can alleviate poverty, inequality and social exclusion. Few countries have been able to reduce poverty and improve living conditions on a broad scale without comprehensive social protection systems in place.
The international community’s consensus on the importance of social protection has been reinforced with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Target 1.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals stresses the role of social protection in ending poverty in all its forms, as it seeks the implementation of “nationally appropriate social protection measures and systems for all, including floors”. By 2030, the goal is no less than “substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable”.
Promoting Inclusion Through Social Protection
In order to promote inclusion, social protection systems must be sensitive to the needs of those population groups that are at highest risk of poverty: children, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, international migrants, ethnic and racial minorities, and indigenous peoples.
The Report on the World Social Situation 2018 shows that each of these groups faces particular barriers to social protection coverage. It contends that inclusive social protection systems must guarantee access to a minimum set of tax-financed schemes. It explains why universal schemes are better at reaching disadvantaged groups than schemes targeted at them and considers how social protection programmes should be implemented in order to avoid excluding people in need.
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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out a universal plan of action to achieve sustainable development in a balanced manner and seeks to realize the human rights of all people. It calls for leaving no one behind and for ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are met for all segments of society, at all ages, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable—including older persons.
Preparing for an ageing population is vital to the achievement of the integrated 2030 Agenda, with ageing cutting across the goals on poverty eradication, good health, gender equality, economic growth and decent work, reduced inequalities and sustainable cities. Therefore, while it is essential to address the exclusion and vulnerability of—and intersectional discrimination against—many older persons in the implementation of the new agenda, it is even more important to go beyond treating older persons as a vulnerable group. Older persons must be recognized as the active agents of societal development in order to achieve truly transformative, inclusive and sustainable development outcomes.
The current brief acknowledges the importance of a life-course approach to ageing and calls for protecting and promoting the rights of older persons in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
This action plan builds on the momentum and spirit of the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and to this end will promote partnership and collaboration between the UN system, civil society organizations, and multilateral bodies such as regional development banks and human rights special procedures and commissions.
This system wide action plan will contribute to the fit for purpose agenda by ensuring stronger linkages between the normative and operational work of the United Nations, increasing coordination and coherence in addressing the rights of indigenous peoples. It calls for strengthened United Nations senior level engagement, encouraging work with Member States in a spirit of partnership and cooperation to generate support for the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As such this action plan implies the need to advance the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples, in the field and at headquarters, including by shared analysis, common strategies and greater accountability.
For this action plan to be effectively implemented at the country level, it is important that United Nations Resident Coordinators are empowered and supported from the highest levels at headquarters. Only by ensuring the adequate political traction both at the global and country level, will the dialogues and programmes between indigenous peoples, Member States and United Nations be fruitful in advancing the rights of indigenous peoples.