Opening Remarks by Dr. AK Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Round Table 1 on the theme “Incorporating the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda”, 7th COP on CRPD, 11 June 2014, Conf. Room 4, NLB
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome you all to the first round table of the Conference of State parties of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The theme of this round table is “Incorporating the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda”.
We are meeting here at a time when the discussion on a set of sustainable development goals, in particular, and the Post 2015 development agenda, in general, is gaining momentum. Poverty eradication has been taken as the overarching objective of the proposed development agenda. As you know, persons with disabilities represent a significant portion of the world population. They are more likely to live in poverty than persons without disabilities. So, inclusion of the challenges and concerns of persons with disabilities in development activities would be essential, if internationally agreed development goals are to be achieved. The most pressing issue faced by persons with disabilities is their lack of equal access to resources such as education, employment, health care, and social and legal support systems, resulting in persons with disabilities experiencing disproportionately high rates of poverty.
There is an allegation that the disability issues are not properly reflected in the Millennium Development Goals. As the discussions on a post-2015 global development agenda intensify, the international community has an opportunity to correct the past shortcomings and ensure that the disability issue is duly incorporated in the emerging framework. To that end, convening of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development last year was a significant development. It provided much needed impetus to the disability issue and drew global attention to the situation of persons with disabilities in relation to development. The outcome document adopted by the Member States during the event stressed the importance of giving due consideration to all persons with disabilities in the emerging post-2015 development agenda.
Initiatives taken towards the development of the post-2015 development framework have provided some cause for optimism. There is a growing support around the inclusion of a disability perspective in the post-2015 development agenda. The issue featured in the global consultations facilitated by the United Nations Development Group and intergovernmental processes convened by the General Assembly, in the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and in the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The report of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda addresses disability in a number of critical ways, including as a crosscutting development issue. I have looked into the latest working document of the Sustainable Development Goals. And I saw the issue mentioned in a number of places, under 6 goal areas, in 11 targets. This is a good sign. However, all these need to be concretized in an appropriate manner in the final development framework.
We are lucky to have a distinguished group of panelists with us today. They are all stalwarts in their respective field related to persons with disabilities. Let me introduce them to you.
I would like to start the discussion with the following three questions to our distinguished panelists:
- What specific entry points exist, at this stage, for including disability in the post-2015 development agenda?
- How can a new framework best address inequalities, faced by persons with disabilities, in relation to all relevant emerging goals, for example, relating to poverty eradication, health and education?
- How can the inclusion of disability in the post-2015 development agenda be monitored and evaluated?