UN must ensure disability remains a top priority for international development

21 April 2015

Nick Corbyby Nick Corby

International leaders are meeting at the UN this week for further negotiations on a new global development agenda.

The Millennium Development Goals, which were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, are being replaced by the new Sustainable Development Goals in September.

We have been campaigning for the new goals to include people with disabilities. Many disabled people have been marginalised for too long and are more likely to live in poverty, and have fewer opportunities to gain an education or a job, than their non-disabled peers.

We are delighted disability features in the existing draft of the post-2015 development framework. However, with no clear consensus on the final set of goals and targets to be launched just five months from now, we cannot take the inclusion of disability in the post-2015 development agenda for granted.

This meeting is a key opportunity for UN member states to remove some of the uncertainty that still surrounds the post-2015 development agenda, and to push the issue further forward.

For this to happen it is vital funding is identified specifically for mainstreaming disability in education, health and social protection provision. Close monitoring will also be needed to ensure the new priorities really improve the lives of disabled people and achieve the results we are aiming for.

The support shown to date for a disability inclusive post-2015 development agenda by some UN member states should be congratulated. This week’s intergovernmental negotiations are a critical moment for UN member states to reinforce this support and to fully commit to a framework that will ensure lasting change for disabled people.

Nick Corby is Head of Influencing, Impact and Learning at Leonard Cheshire Disability.

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