An inclusive society will take a revolution not just goals

Friday, global leaders commit to 17 global goals for sustainable development and this time children with disabilities will not be left out

On Friday 193 global leaders will converge to commit to 17 global goals to achieve 3 extraordinary; end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and fix climate change. These global goals, also called the sustainable development goals (SDG), will be used by UN member states to define policy over the next 15 years and indicate a new phase of global unity.

The SDG replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which were agreed on in 2001 and set to expire in 2015. The MDG were criticized for failing to consider the root causes of poverty and leaving out specific action for persons with disabilities, excluding the “largest minority,” 1 billion people.

Disabilities in the Global Goals

The SDG pledge to “leave no one behind,” and for the first time in history directly address the rights of persons with disabilities, including accessibility and inclusive education.

Specific targets addressing disabilities issues include:

Target 4.5: By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations

Target 4.a: Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all

Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

Target 10.2: 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

Target 11.3: By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries

Target 17.18 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

It’s time for a revolution

Signing these goals is only the beginning. According to a report projecting progress London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) says “unless significant changes are made, none of the global goals will be met.” ODI is call for a “revolution.” Unification and empowerment will be key.

To drive this revolution, organizations must unite. Advocacy and services for persons with disabilities has historical taken a fragmented programmatic approach. The traditional model should be redefined to focus on establishing networks of organizations at the country and international level, identifying top performers and developing a systematic approach easily replicable with limited adaptation on a country by country basis.

Persons with disabilities and youth need to be empowered to lead the revolution. According to Polly Meeks of ADD international and Rachele Tardi of Light for the World “Empowerment has obvious benefits in ensuring that programs reflect disabled people’s experience — but, just as important, it is an essential way to challenge historic power imbalances between those with and without disabilities.”

We need everyone’s help

Everyone plays a part in the achievement the global goals. By spreading awareness of the global goals and the targets for persons with disabilities leaders are held accountable. If the goals are to be achieved everyone needs to know about them. To learn more about what you can do visit The Global Goals.