- October 23, 2017

October 2017

In this edition:

1. Congratulations on the HLPF 2017 outcomes for persons with disabilities
2. New HLPF Bulletin
3. 2018 HLPF
4. Volunteering Countries in 2018 HLPF
5. Toolkit for DPOs on the Voluntary National Reviews
6. 2017 HLPF Voluntary National Reviews
7. Regional Engagement
8. Global Report on case study on the engagement of DPOs in the Voluntary National Reviews
10. Financing for development
11. Participate in a Disability Budgeting Survey
12. Bolivia training on the 2030 Agenda and CRPD

Congratulations on the HLPF 2017 outcomes for persons with disabilities!
The 2017 HLPF took place from 10-19 July at the UN Headquarters in New York. Persons with disabilities were present at the meeting with a large delegation and presented several times in the thematic debates during the first week. During the second high-level week, 43 countries reported during the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on the SDG implementation. Out of the 43 countries, 41 written reports and 85 per cent of the oral presentations included references to persons with disabilities. In addition, all civil society questions submitted and asked during VNR sessions explicitly referenced or included persons with disabilities. As such, the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) produced increasingly positive statistics and references for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in SDG monitoring and implementation. More information available here

New HLPF Bulletin
Henceforth we will share a monthly bulletin on the preparatory work toward the 2018 HLPF and related processes. The bulletin will provide information about opportunities that the UN shares at the global level and how persons with disabilities can practically engage in these activities. Also, each bulletin will call for volunteers to carry out specific tasks on behalf of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities. The thematic working groups, as established in 2016 and 2017, will be carried out through these volunteer activities.

2018 HLPF
The theme of the 2018 HLPF is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies” and the Goals under review include:

  • Goal 6 Clean water and sanitation
  • Goal 7 Affordable and clean energy
  • Goal 11 Sustainable cities and communities
  • Goal 12 Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal 15 Life on land
  • Goal 17 Partnerships for the Goals

On an ongoing basis, we welcome any research and/or materials related to any of the aforementioned Goals and 2018 HLPF theme. The purpose is to prepare the submission on behalf of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities. Please send these documents to Dr. Elizabeth Lockwood at elizabeth.lockwood [at] with the subject “Research 2018 HLPF.” 

Volunteering Countries in 2018 HLPF
In 2018, there will be 48 countries that will report on their progress achieved on implementing the SDGs. These countries include: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Benin, Bhutan, Cabo Verde, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Namibia, Niger, Paraguay, Poland, Qatar, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Sudan, Switzerland, Togo, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Vietnam.

If your country has volunteered to review, it is important to engage as soon as possible in national advocacy, in collaboration with other civil society platforms, to ensure persons with disabilities are included in the review. 

The following are suggested initial steps:

  • Locate the government-appointed SDG focal point in your government. To locate the SDG focal point, follow these steps:
  1. Click this link
  2. Scroll down and click on the respective country name
  3. Click on the tab called “focal point”
  • Request a meeting with your government to learn about the VNR consultation at the national level and how to get involved.
  • Search which civil society platform in your country is focusing on the SDGs at the national level and check if you can possibly join it to obtain the latest information about the SDGs and to engage collaboratively in the VNR national consultation.
  • Make sure to read these monthly bulletins, as we will provide relevant updates. 

Additional information available here.

The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities will hold a call in late November to provide additional information and a dialogue to exchange on Voluntary National Reviews and persons with disabilities can engage. Call details will be shared in the next bulletin.

Toolkit for DPOs on the Voluntary National Reviews
This toolkit has been developed jointly by the International Disability Alliance and CBM as an exploratory and interactive tool for organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on the review and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation, at national, regional and global levels.

We are calling for volunteers to test the toolkit on substance and accessibility. If you are interested in providing feedback, please send an email to intern [at] and include “Toolkit Test” in the subject line. All volunteers will receive a detailed explanation on how to contribute and then we will ask for feedback within a week.

2017 HLPF Voluntary National Reviews
Did you watch your country report from the 2017 HLPF? Click here for the VNR videos from 2017 HLPF.

Follow-up suggestions
This year, many of the VNRs oral and written reports included references to persons with disabilities. In addition, civil society were granted the opportunity to pose questions to individual and panels of countries during the oral reports, all of which explicitly referenced or related to persons with disabilities. While many of the questions were not fully answered during the session, the critical value of the HLPF is to initiate a national follow-up dialogue with your government. 

Below are some suggestions on how to engage with your government to discuss 2017 HLPF outcomes:

  • Are there current activities being planned to follow up on the reports or statements made at 2017 HLPF?
  • Are there civil society mechanisms in place to engage the government to ensure that the topics stated in the oral and written reports are addressed and implemented?
  • What activities are the disability community planning to ensure that the relevant topics from (or excluded from) the oral and written reports are going to be addressed? 

The HLPF provides visibility on the implementation of the SDGs in your country. DPOs and persons with disabilities should use this as an opportunity to start a dialogue with their government and to propose constructive ways of collaboration going forward to achieve the SDGs for persons with disabilities.

Regional Engagement
Every bulletin will focus on regional engagement of DPOs. It is a space to exchange on our advocacy in the five regions (Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Arab region and Africa) and to make the link between the national and global levels. It is also an opportunity to update each other on the regional work done around the yearly forums hosted in each region to prepare Member States to the High-level Political Forum.

Please share information on what is taking place for persons with disabilities and the SDGs in your region. Marion Steff from the European Disability Forum will manage the content; please send information to marion.steff [at] We will share the information in the next bulletins. Content needs to be sent each month before the 5th of that month. For more information on what is taking place at the Regional UN Headquarters, click on the following links:

Additional Information

Global Report on case study on the engagement of organizations of persons with disabilities in the Voluntary National Reviews
We would like to start by welcoming the hard work and contributions of DPOs from several countries over the last months. As a result, the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities was able to compile a Global Report - a case study of 14 countries - on the engagement of persons with disabilities in the SDG implementation. The report intends to be useful for DPOs as a model on how to engage with their governments. Please note this is a live working paper and as such we continue to add information. A final version will be released in December 2017, although a sneak peek is available here.

HLPF video is forthcoming!
During the High-level Political Forum, a short video was filmed with the objective to improve DPO’s understanding of the Voluntary National Reviews. The video illustrates the engagement of persons with disabilities at the global level. A raw cut of the video comprised of interviews and presentations during the 2017 HLPF has been put together. Additional editing and accessibility features need to be incorporated prior to the release. Once it is ready, we will share it.

The International Disability Alliance and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), with strong support from Disability Rights Advocacy FundSightSavers and CBM  organized Module B of the Training of Trainers in the framework of the BRIDGE CRPD-SDG Training Initiative in Brighton, UK from 28 September to 5 October. Module B covers issues related to public policy and governance for CRPD and inclusive SDG implementation. It covered national data collection, public budget, budgetary advocacy, legal harmonization and the use of UN accountable mechanisms with two focus sessions on poverty and social protection. More information available here.

Financing for Development
The 2018 Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) will take place at the United Nations in New York on April 23-26. Prior to the Forum a so-called Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) report will be compiled to provide substantive information and inputs to the discussions as well as it will influences the FfD Forum outcome document. The objective for 2018 is to align the work of the FfD Forum more with the HLPF and to create a stronger connection between the two processes. We are expecting that there will be an opportunity to input into the outline of the IATF report at end of October. The exact process and dates of the meetings are not yet released, but we will keep you updated on this. We will also call for volunteers to input and to contribute, when more clarity is gained. In addition, to give more emphasis to the financing aspect of the SDGs implementation the UN Secretary-General called for a finance summit to take place in September 2018 at the UN in New York to address sustainable finance.

Participate in a Disability Budgeting Survey
We are collecting data / information through this survey to be used for research and global advocacy on development finance issues affecting persons with disabilities. Participation is voluntary and all the records will be kept confidential! The deadline for survey responses is 31 October 2017. If you wish to participate please follow the link to a survey monkey:

Bolivia training on the 2030 Agenda and CRPD
In  Cochabamba, Bolivia from 11 to 13 August, 2017 a workshop took place for Bolivian organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) on intersection between the 2030 Agenda and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The workshop was the first of its kind in Bolivia for DPOs with 30 DPO representatives, including Indigenous persons with disabilities, women with disabilities, youth with disabilities, persons with psychosocial disabilities, self-advocates, Little People, persons with disabilities in sports, Deaf persons, Blind persons, persons with low vision, hard of hearing persons, persons with physical disabilities, and families with children with disabilities. More information available here. 

Contact Information. If you have information to share or would like to get in touch with us, please email Dr. Orsolya Bartha (obartha [at], Elizabeth Lockwood (Elizabeth.Lockwood [at], Megan Smith (msmith [at]

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Category: HLPF