- February 7, 2014

Member Organisations:
Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities, Disabled People’s International,
Down Syndrome International, European Disability Forum,
Inclusion International, International Federation of Hard of Hearing People,
Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities
and their Families, Pacific Disability Forum, World Blind Union, World Federation of the Deaf,
World Federation of the DeafBlind, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry


Eighth Session of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

A Post-2015 Development Framework Inclusive of Persons with Disabilities

New York, 6 February 2014 – International Disability Alliance (IDA) chair Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis addressed United Nations (UN) Member States, UN agencies and civil society at the UN Headquarters in New York today, calling for a post-2015 sustainable development agenda that is inclusive of persons with disabilities.

Mr. Vardakastanis spoke to UN Member States of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the morning meeting of the Group’s eighth session, stating the importance of mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities across the sustainable development agenda. The theme of the session was “Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment”. “The Sustainable Development Goals must be based on a human rights framework incorporating non-discrimination and equality, in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD)”, Mr. Vardakastanis said.

OWG Member States, including co-chair Hungary, the Republic of Korea, Israel, Switzerland, Nicaragua, Brazil, Egypt, Japan, Poland, Cuba and Palau voiced their support for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the SDGs. In particular, the Republic of Korea emphasised the importance of recognising disability as a cross-cutting issue in the post-2015 process, while the United States and Israel supported the inclusion of disability status in disaggregated data as a priority area for the OWG to address.

In the afternoon, IDA, in cooperation with the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN, and the European Union Delegation to the UN held a panel discussion on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the sustainable development agenda. The panel was moderated by H.E. Mr. Michel Spinellis, Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN, and consisted of Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Mr. Ivan Simonovic, H.E. Thomas Mayr-Harting, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN and IDA chair Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis. The event, attended by over 80 representatives from Member States, UN agencies and civil society, discussed the importance of targets and indicators inclusive of persons with disabilities, to be included in all goals.

The International Disability Alliance was established in 1999 as a network of eight global and four regional organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and their families, representing the estimated one billion persons with disabilities worldwide. IDA’s unique composition as a network of international DPOs allows it to act as an authoritative and representative voice of persons with disabilities in the United Nations system, both in New York and Geneva.

Geneva Office: 150 route de Ferney, PO Box 2100, CH 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
New York Office: 245 Park Avenue, 39th Floor, New York, NY 10167, United States
Contact email: info [at]
IDA Website:

Press release in Word version

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