Advocates Find Varying Inclusiveness of Persons with Disabilities in VNRs

High Level Political Forum on SDGJanuary 2018: The International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities for Sustainable Development found substantial variation in the inclusion of disability in Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) presented at the 2017 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The groups released a report that present 13 case studies on the status of persons with disabilities and their engagement in the VNR process.

The report states that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s interlinked approach to development facilitates an understanding of disability as a cross-cutting issues that all sectors must address. Further, the report explains, national SDG implementation has provided a new opportunity for persons with disabilities to engage directly with their governments and with all ministries involved in development processes, rather than just those ministers associated with disability or social affairs.

The case studies in the report – drawn from countries’ national reports submitted to the UN – feature Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Togo, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Argentina, El Salvador and Peru. Among the observations highlighted, the Kenyan case study states the Government of Kenya held a forum specifically engaging persons with disabilities as part of its national consultations on SDG implementation, but persons with disabilities “were not substantive consulted” in creating the national SDG roadmap.SDG_Goals 10 Reduced Inequalities

The report also provides an overview of the engagement of persons with disabilities at the regional level. At the 2017 Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD), for example, persons with disabilities participated in and observed high-level panels, and governments made statements on marginalization and at-risk populations. Similar information on the participation of persons with disabilities and government statements is included for each region.

Finally, the report briefly reviews the Synthesis Report on the 2017 VNRs, which the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) prepared. According to the report, the synthesis report includes 29 explicit references to persons with disabilities and a chapter on persons with disabilities.

IDA, an alliance of eight global and six regional organizations of persons with disabilities, advocates at the UN for a more inclusive global environment for persons with disabilities. IDA works to ensure that the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs are inclusive and in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). [Case Study on the Engagement of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs) in Voluntary National Reviews] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Synthesis Report]

Also on persons with disabilities, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) launched the ‘Women and Men in Kenya’ booklet. The product provides facts on the status of women and men in Kenya, including indicators on health, education, domestic violence, population, persons with disabilities, decision-making and governance. KNBS emphasized that the booklet aims to support data accessibility for all, including to improve service delivery and planning. [KNBS Press Release]

References: International Institute for Sustainable Development. 2018. Retrieved from

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