- February 6, 2024

  1. The International Disability Alliance[1] welcomes the Zero Draft of the Political Declaration and expresses our appreciation to the co-facilitators and member States who have developed the text so far. The Zero Draft underlines the interconnectedness of development, reinforces the universality and indivisibility of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); including linkages of different mechanisms such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Financing for Development Forum, the Sendai Mid-Term Review, the Transforming Education Summit, among others.


  1. We also welcome the increased attention to marginalized groups that are at the highest risk of being left behind, in particular persons with disabilities. We commend the draft for acknowledging the growing threats to realizing the promises of the SDGs, sharing a deep concern for people in vulnerable situations being hit hardest by multiple and interlinked crises, and acknowledging the need for transformative and systemic shifts. We welcome the reinforcement of the commitment to targeted efforts to realize the promise to leave no one behind, in particular reaching those furthest behind.


  1. However, we note with concern that  the concrete actions towards transformative shift do not adequately reflect the level of detail required to fulfil global commitments to an intersectional approach and moving away from business as usual. This is the time for concrete and courageous action that must be reflected by a commitment to prioritize resources, monitoring of progress including through data disaggregation and specific markers on spending for persons with disabilities.

  1. IDA suggests the following amendments to specific paragraphs within the Zero Draft:

4.1  In paragraph 11 of the Zero Draft, we call for highlighting the multiple discrimination and exclusion faced by women from marginalized communities.

Proposed text:

We remain resolved, between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to respect, protect and fulfil human rights and achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, including those from marginalized groups such as women and girls with disabilities.


4.2  In paragraph 12 of the Zero Draft, we call for an intersectional lens to gender equality.

Proposed text:

We reaffirm that gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, particularly those from most marginalized groups such as women with disabilities; will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Goals and Targets.


4.3  In paragraph 21, we recommend highlighting that persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups are most affected by humanitarian crises.

Proposed text:

We stress the critical importance of sufficient humanitarian response and assistance, with particular attention to marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities, and we recognise thatour ability to prevent and resolve conflicts and build resilient, peaceful, just and inclusive societies has often been fragmented and insufficient.


4.4  In paragraph 36, we call for the addition of a standalone paragraph on persons with disabilities, reflecting that persons with disabilities are the largest and most marginalized group, disproportionately affected by the interconnected crises that are hindering development efforts:

Proposed new text to be added as standalone subparagraph

36(a) bis     We commit to creating a new social contract with persons with disabilities, making all funds and programmes disability-inclusive, providing support services to ensure community inclusion, with the goal of ensuring an accessible and inclusive world for persons with disabilities and fulfilling the rights of all persons with disabilities.


4.5  In paragraph 36 (b), we call for recognition of the disability gap in education.

Proposed text:

We will continue increasing investment in inclusive and equitable quality education, including early childhood education, youth and adult literacy programmes and initiatives, digital education, skills enhancement and lifelong learning, stressing the importance of addressing the gender gap and the disability gap in education andwetake note of the 2022 United Nations Transforming Education Summit.


4.6  In paragraph 36 (c) we call for acknowledging the digital divide for persons with disabilities.

Proposed text:

We will take action to spread the benefits of digitalization, recognizing that innovation must be inclusive and accessible, and should not reinforce barriers or create new ones. We will leverage digital technology to expand the foundations on which to build more comprehensive, dynamic, inclusive and adaptive social protection systems. We commit to building capacities for inclusive participation in the digital economy and to bridge the digital divide particularly for persons with disabilities, including through strong partnerships to bring technological innovations to all countries. We look forward to the elaboration of a Global Digital Compact.


4.7  In paragraph 36 (d), we stress the need to highlight inclusivity and accessibility including for persons with disabilities.

Proposed text:

We will take integrated action at all levels to accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems and promote healthy nutrition, diets and consumption practices, with special attention to marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities.


4.8  In paragraph 36 (f), we call for consultative mechanisms to be put in place.

Proposed text:

We will accelerate the pursuit of policy, investment and innovation to reduce disaster risk and build the resilience of countries, economies, communities and individuals, and we recognize the need for a broader and more people-centered preventive approach to disaster risk reduction, by creating sustainable mechanisms for meaningful participation and consultations with marginalized groups, including with organizations of persons with disabilities

4.9  In paragraph 36 (g), we recommend clear references to inclusive funding with dedicated markers for disability inclusion.

Proposed text:

We urge developed country parties to fully deliver on the goal of 100 billion United States dollars urgently and through to 2025 and emphasize the importance of transparency in the implementation of their pledges. We welcome the outcomes of COP-27 held in Sharm El-Sheikh, including the decision on funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including a focus on addressing loss and damage. We commit to providing dedicated funding for inclusive development for particularly marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities.


4.10     In paragraph 36 (j) we propose the following:

Proposed text:

We commit to use science, technology, and innovation as drivers of sustainable development, including access to affordable and accessible technology, such as assistive technology for persons with disabilities.


For more information or to further discuss persons with disabilities in the context of the SDGs development agenda, please contact:


Dorodi Sharma (দৰদী শৰ্মা) dsharma [at]


Jarrod Clyne jclyne [at]

[1] The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is a network of eight global and six regional organizations of persons with disabilities and their families (OPDs), representing over one billion persons with disabilities worldwide. Founded in 1999, as a network of international disability rights organizations, a unique composition, that allows IDA to act as an authoritative representative of persons with disabilities in the United Nations (UN) system in New York, Geneva and worldwide. IDA’s advocacy seeks to advance human rights utilising the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and other Conventions, harnessing the collective strength of its members, forging working relationships with partners to achieve common goals inclusive of persons with disabilities worldwide. IDA is also the Organising Partner of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities (SGPwD), one of the recognised Major Groups of the UN.


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