CBM welcomes the Sustainable Development Goals

Posted on: Friday, 25th September, 2015
Sustainable Development Goals

and their call to ‘Leave no one behind’

"Today world leaders met in New York and committed to eradicating poverty, fighting inequality and injustice and reducing the impact of climate change by 2030. To achieve this they have signed up to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 accompanying targets.

This is a hugely important moment, as the SDGs will determine what is prioritised by governments and development agencies all over the world for the next 15 years. The SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were adopted 15 years ago and are due to expire at the end of the year. The MDGs are a set of eight goals covering a range of topics from poverty to gender equality. They have driven a huge amount of progress for people around the world – but they made no mention of disability, meaning people with disabilities were often left behind by this progress.

The SDGs aim to finish the job that the MDGs started and build upon some of their lessons. They are much more wide ranging and ambitious, crucially they pledge to ‘Leave no one behind’ and are much more disability inclusive. The level of ambition has the potential to be transformative for people with disabilities.

Kirsty Smith, CBM UK Chief Executive said, “Today is a historic moment for CBM and civil society organisations around the world, as world leaders have committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals that aim to ‘leave no one behind’ and have the potential to change the world for millions of people with disabilities. People living with disabilities are some of the world’s poorest people – we cannot eradicate extreme poverty without reaching people with disabilities. We now need to translate the ambition of the SDGs into action. We need a global concerted effort to build an inclusive world where all people with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential.""

Disability is mentioned in a number of targets, including in vitally important areas such as education, employment and inequality. As well as this, many of the targets are universal which means that must be met for everyone – including people with disabilities.

As well as setting national and international priorities, the SDGs are important because they give people with disabilities something they can use to hold their governments to account and argue for their inclusion. People will be able to take the document to their governments and make sure they take action on what they have committed to do.

Getting to this point has taken several years of work. Since the beginning of 2012, CBM and its partners have been advocating to ensure that the SDGs are inclusive of, and accessible to, people with disabilities. We will now continue to advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the implementation and measurement of the SDGs. Because we know that if we don’t measure progress for people with disabilities there is a risk that they will be left behind again.

To coincide with the SDGs being agreed CBM has published Dialogues on Sustainable Development to contribute to the growing global conversation on why disability-inclusive development is important."

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