Take Action! Promote the Mainstreaming of Disability in the MDGs

Posted on 26 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Education, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Opinion, Opportunities, Policy & Legislation, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

MEMORANDUM
TO: GPDD PARTNERS
FROM: GPDD SECRETARIAT
SUBJECT: PROMOTING THE MAINSTREAMING OF DISABILITY IN THE MDGs
DATE:    9/25/2008
 
The General Assembly’s sixty-third session is taking place at the UN headquarters in New York. This session marks a special occasion to highlight the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a number of consultations and events examining multiple dimensions of MDG activities are taking place throughout the week. This presents a unique opportunity for all concerned stakeholders to advocate for the inclusion of disability in the MDGs.
 
Since the GA Plenary may discuss this issue from October 6 to 8, immediate action is essential. For this reason, the Secretariat of the Global Partnership for Disability and Development is:

1)    Circulating a letter to UN Missions and Foreign Affairs Offices of Member States requesting Member States to make interventions and support a resolution in favor of mainstreaming disabilities in the MDGs.

2)    Encouraging advocates and activists to phone, fax, or e-mail relevant government officials in their countries.

3)    Sending an advisory to relevant media outlets.

We request your support in these actions as well as your suggestions.

Your ideas and participation will make a difference! A sample letter and relevant contact information are attached for your use.

FYI,  a copy of the Secretary-General’s report on mainstreaming disability in monitoring and evaluation of MDGs conducted as part of the Fifth quinquennial  review and appraisal of the World Program of Action concerning Disabled Persons and a short summary are attached, as well.
 
Sincerely,
Maria Verónica Reina
Executive Director
GPDD

Sample Letter
Disability advocates may wish to use this sample letter as inspiration when writing to the UN Mission Office for your country, or when writing to the Foreign Affairs office in your country. Find the full list of UN Mission offices, with the relevant contact information, at http://www.un.org/members/missions.shtml. Search the website for your government to locate the contact information for your country’s equivalent of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Dear Mr./Ms. Minister of Foreign Affairs (or Head of Delegation):
As members of the Disability and Development community, we want to encourage your government to play a substantive and active role in favor of mainstreaming Disability in the Millennium Development Goals (during the fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action (A/63/183) which will be reviewed by the GA during its 63rd session (6-8 October under Social Development). The report was envisaged as a contribution to reinforcing the disability perspective in reviews of the progress made, and challenges encountered, in implementing the MDGs as requested by GA resolution 62/127.

Mainstreaming disability in the MDGs will help to ensure that no one is excluded from the processes of global development. In view of the enforcement of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, new and concerted efforts should be made in order to accomplish the advancement of persons with disability in the context of development. It is important to note the importance of promoting universal design, the design of products, environments, programmes, and services which are usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Such increased accessibility benefits all members of society, not only persons with disabilities. Simultaneously, it is also relevant to state that disability specific programs addressing MDG concerns are also needed to guarantee the full inclusion of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.

For these reasons, we respectfully urge you to promote a resolution on mainstreaming disability in the MDGs during the fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action at the 63rd Session of the GA.

Sincerely,

Summary Fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (A/63/183)
The full Fifth quinquennial review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, referred to in Maria Verónica Reina’s letter, was too long to publish here. But someone also disseminated a shorter summary which is provided below.

The fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action (A/63/183) will be reviewed by the General Assembly during its 63rd session(6-8 October under social development)The report was envisaged as a contribution to reinforcing the disability perspective in reviews of progress and challenges encountered in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as requested by General Assembly resolution 62/127. The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to present proposed updates of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons which were summarized in Annex I to the report. The report also presents Annex II, “Millennium Development Goals: Mainstreaming Disability”, which presents practical guidance on the inclusion of disability in the processes of the MDGs.

The principal issue addressed in the fifth review and appraisal is the emergence of a “new normative and policy architecture” on the advancement of persons with disabilities within the context of development. This architecture comprises the broad policy framework of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (for policy formulation, planning and development); the tactical guidance for States of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities; and the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which are legally binding for States parties, and is discussed in the section “International Disability Architecture”.

A second point of importance within the report is the emergence, of regional action plans and programmes on the advancement of persons with disabilities, which reflect needs and priorities of the respective regional actors and their complementary relationship to the international architecture.

A third point addresses the processes of the MDGs and focuses on options suggested in the architecture to ensure that no one is excluded from the processes of global development.

A fourth point within the report discusses the expanded constituencies for the advancement of persons with disabilities. As the median global age is on the rise, disability will have major policy implications because the prevalence of disabilities tends to be higher among older persons. The new constituencies represent important agents in a new and concerted effort as part of a disability-sensitized community to the advancement of persons with disability in the context of development. It is important to note the importance of promoting universal design, the design of products, environments, programmes and services which are usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Such increased accessibility benefits all members of society, not only persons with disabilities.

The fifth, point, is the need for a single, comprehensive biennial review of progress and obstacles in implementing a global strategy for disability-inclusive development. This unified report on the new disability architecture could facilitate substantive exchange and learning from the findings and recommendations of the CRDP treaty body once established, within the context of development.

Annex I to the Fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action – Updates to the World Programme of Action
Annex I discusses the issue of the updating of the World Programme of Action, as requested by General Assembly resolution 62/127.

The report recommends that the General Assembly endorse a plan to develop a Global Strategy toward Disability-Inclusive Development 2010-2015, through regional consultations and contributions from experts. These strategic guidelines could be developed based on the complementarities and synergies of three disability-specific instruments, namely the World Programme of Action, the Standard Rules and the Convention, and could incorporate updates proposed by Member States. There are existing regional guidelines for disability action in the context of development that could provide a basis for the development of a global strategy.
Annex II to the Fifth review and appraisal of the World Programme of Action – Millennium Development Goals: Mainstreaming Disability

Annex II provides a selection of examples and guidelines for mainstreaming disability in the MDGs and includes possible indicators to include disability in the monitoring of progress in achieving MDGs.



This call for action, and the associated materials, was recently circulated in several different locations including the IDA_CRPD_Forum and the GPDD mailing list.




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