Leonard Cheshire Disability welcomes UN commitment to making disabled people a top priority for the first time

25 September 2015

The UN’s new international development agenda has been agreed today in New York. It commits all member governments to ensure people with disabilities are not left behind in development plans to be pursued over the next 15 years.

Tiziana Oliva, Leonard Cheshire Disability's international director, said: ‘The sustainable development goal targets agreed today ensure that people with disabilities will not be left behind in the new development agenda, something we as a charity have been campaigning towards for many years.

‘The world’s one billion people with disabilities make up one of the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups within society and are routinely denied their most basic human rights — cut off from education, employment and healthcare. Many are trapped in a cycle of extreme poverty.

‘Yet until now, people with disabilities have frequently been left out of development programmes. We welcome this new agenda to create just and inclusive societies, which will leave no one behind.’

Professor Nora Groce, of the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre, said: ‘A unified, country-level approach to monitoring and measuring progress toward achieving the SDGs is now required.

‘The system will be established under the leadership of National Statistics Offices and will draw upon data from multilateral organisations and civil society, along with all other stakeholders. However, we must all make sure that people with disabilities are included in any and all efforts in implementing and monitoring the sustainable development goals.’ 

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Notes to editors

  • Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is composed of 17 goals and 169 targets.
  • The Special SDG Summit during which the agenda will be adopted by Heads of State is 25th-27th September in New York.
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability has laid out our ambitious five-year international strategy which demonstrates how we plan to work within the post-2015 development agenda.
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability supports 12,000 disabled people in Africa and Asia and is committed through its programmes to achieving inclusive education and livelihood opportunities for a further 100,000 people over the next five years.
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability supports thousands of people with disabilities across the globe, through programmes focusing on education — ensuring children with disabilities go to school; livelihoods — supporting adults with disabilities into work; and campaigning — enabling young people with disabilities to campaign for their full inclusion in society. Leonard Cheshire Disability carries out vital academic research at its Inclusive and Development Centre, based at University College London.
  • Globally we work through our partners in the Leonard Cheshire Disability Global Alliance which is a network of over 200 independently managed Cheshire organisations across over 50 countries, of which Leonard Cheshire Disability in the UK is a member. With over 7,500 staff, the charity supports over 7,000 disabled people in the UK and 12,000 in Africa and Asia.

The UN’s new international development agenda, agreed on 25 September in New York, has obliged all the member governments of the UN to implement the following points relevant to disability over the next 15 years:

  • Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, not violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all.
  • By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.
  • By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.