The International Disability Alliance and the International Disability and Development Consortium welcomes the 30 May Report of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda that calls for a new global partnership in eradicating extreme poverty and transforming economies through sustainable development.

The report includes many recommendations expresed  by persons with disabilities during the consultations of the High Level Panel for ending discrimination, equal opportunity and guarantees of minimum basic living standards. 

The Panel have proposed five big, transformative shifts all of which are closely linked to securing rights and participation of persons with disabilities.

The first of the transformative shift “Leave no one behind” categorically says "the next development agenda must ensure that in the future neither income nor gender, nor ethnicity, nor disability, nor geography, will determine whether people live or die, whether a mother can give birth safely, or whether her child has a fair chance in life".

The report outlines a range of development goals and targets, with a clear time horizon and supported by measurable indicators to tackle inequality of opportunity head on.

Data plays a large part in the monitoring of progress and in achieving targets. The HLP calls for a “data revolution” to improve the quality of statistics and information available to all people. In line with the IDA IDDC position paper[3], the report calls for indicators that are disaggregated and elaborates by stating that ‘to ensure no one is left behind’ ‘targets should only be considered ‘achieved’ if they are met for all relevant income and social groups and this includes disability’. However the report does not contain details of how these commitments will be realised for persons with disabilities and other excluded groups. 

The HLP makes reference to the importance of recognising people with disabilities at all levels of civil society and implementing policies and laws protecting human rights as mentioned in Annex IV, “Disability and ageing must be mainstreamed across policies of the government, and laws that prevent discrimination against the disabled and aged must be put in place”.

For all this, IDA and IDDC commends the HLP for their dedicated work and commitment. IDA and IDDC would like to take this opportunity to suggest few areas in which the Report could have done more as well as few ideas for the next steps in mainstreaming disability in development in accordance with this Report.

The references to human rights, while present, do not feature uniformly across the goals and targets. There is no acknowledgement of the pre-existing human rights standards to which governments are bound including those described in the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Post-2015 development framework should have these as a foundation.

Within the illustrative goals themselves, it would have been good to see more specific references to disability, particularly in Goal 2 on gender equality, Goal 3 on education and Goal 4 on health. The cross-cutting approach to monitoring progress mentioned above, in addition to the focus on universality, is the right way. IDA and IDDC would like to suggest inclusion of disability sensitive targets and indicators across the framework, in addition to disaggregation of data.

The report is a huge step forward. in keeping up the momentum and making sure that disability remains included in on-going discussions and debates about the post-2015 development framework over the next two years, we would like to propose the following concrete steps:

  • The UN Secretary General’s Annual Report to the General Assembly on progress towards the MDGs should clearly reference the same commitment as the HLP Report to ensure that the post 2015 framework is inclusive of persons with disabilities, including by developing disability sensitive indicators and targets within each of the goals as well as by disaggregating data by disability.
  • The Post-2015 development framework should be based on human rights, which is uniformly applied across all the new goals and targets. All goals should be inclusive of persons with disabilities in complince with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
  • To mainstream disability across the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals agenda and include persons with disabilities in the SDGs, inter alia by developing disability sensitive indicators and targets as well as by stressing the importance of disaggregation of data by disability.
  • To mainstream persons with disabilities at the Special Event on MDGs to be held on September 25 in New York as well as to link the Outcome Document of the High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development with the Outcome Document of the Special Event on MDGs;
  • Mechanisms should be in place to ensure the effective participation of organisations of persons with disabilities at every stage of the process.  
  • A revision of international developmentassistance to include disability related targets.
  • Any new global partnerships must include persons with disabilities in their international cooperation efforts.
  • As established by article 32 of the CRPD, all projects and programmes, whether mainstream or disability specific, have to be compliant with the CRPD, i.e. be inclusive, accessible and promote the rights and full and effective participation for persons with disabilities, including by supporting the work of representative organizations of persons with disabilities.

IDA and IDDC would like to once again thank you for your commitment to disability and development and we remain at your disposal for any future endeavors. Please rely on disability community for dissemination of the High-Level Panel Report.