Sightsavers blog

The SDGs: a massive step forward and a wake-up call

Sightsavers, September 2015
Close up photo of a smiling man.

“The inclusion of people with disabilities in the SDGs will be a huge achievement”

It’s the biggest week of the year for Sightsavers’ policy team, and they’ve been blogging like it’s going out of fashion in the run-up to the 2015 UN General Assembly in New York.

Why? To make as much noise as possible about the impending agreement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which could transform the future for the hundreds of millions of people living with disabilities in developing countries. The inclusion of people with disabilities in the SDGs will be a huge achievement, but the real work will be in making new policy become reality.

Our Director of Policy and Programme Strategy Dominic Haslam, in his blog for the Huffington Post, writes:

“The outcome of the post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations at the UN – a document setting out the global approach to the next 15 years of development – stands us on the brink of history. Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development finally delivers a consensus that disability must be mainstreamed into development policy internationally.

“Once all the noise has died down after the global leaders assemble, but before the hard graft of implementation begins, Sightsavers will continue to advocate for improvements to the indicators for the framework, to ensure better data is available to measure this progress, and to adjust efforts that aren’t being effective.”

What’s in store?

He goes on to describe the future all of us at Sightsavers want to see.

“We’ve already started to imagine alongside our supporters a different world in 2030, one where people with disabilities are included as a matter of course, not as an add-on. A world where children with disabilities receive an education that enables them to unlock their full potential and where adults with disabilities can achieve their utmost contribution towards the economic development of their countries. A world where people with disabilities have the same access to health, the law, banks and sports stadiums as everyone else.”

Read the full blog: A massive step forward and a wakeup call to include people with disabilities

Meanwhile, on Skoll World Forum, our Head of Global Advocacy Andrew Griffiths emphasises that the goals must deliver on promises regarding people with disabilities in developing countries.

“The leaders and groups that are currently finalising these new goals have reached a consensus that disability must be incorporated into the mainstream of international development policy. Crucially, this consensus will give people with disabilities a tool to advocate for their inclusion in country-level policies.

“The next challenge will be to ensure that what is being promised by the goals will be delivered once this process goes from a global conversation to an agenda that must be implemented by countries at the national level. Funders, nonprofits, and other groups need to maintain pressure on governments to include people with disabilities in their development plans, even when inclusion is challenging or costly.”

Read the full blog: Make sure development goals live up to promises on disability

Follow all our reporting from New York on our Sightsavers at the UNGA Storify.

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