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Member States Urged to Hold National Consultations on Disability and Development

The World We Want6 May 2013: The co-facilitators of the upcoming UN General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Meeting on "the Realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities"(HLMDD) have called on Member States to hold national consultations on the issue, if they have not yet done so, and to submit stakeholders' contributions to the co-facilitators as they prepare the zero draft of the Meeting's outcome document.

In a letter circulated on 6 May 2013, Libran N. Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Philippines, and Fernando Arias Gonzalez, Permanent Representative of Spain, note that the High-level Meeting to be held on 23 September 2013 will have the overarching theme “The way forward: a disability-inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.”

The co-facilitators provide a timeline of events leading up to the High-Level Meeting, which include: a series of regional consultations taking place in April and May 2013 in Asia, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean; and an online discussion facilitated by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) from 8 March-5 April 2013, in the context of the Global Thematic Consultation on Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Input from the preparatory events will feed into a zero draft to be issued in the first week of June. The co-facilitators plan to conduct consultations on the draft from 10-26 June 2013, and to issue a final draft by the end of that month. 

Participants in an earlier online discussion on disability in the post-2015 development agenda, which took place from November to December 2012, called for a human rights-based approach in compliance with CRPD. They affirmed the Social Protection Floor initiative adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), in view of over-representation of persons with disabilities among the poor. They also called for integration of disability as a cross-cutting issue in all sectors, highlighting barriers in accessing water and sanitation, public transport and assistive devices. 

The preparatory events will be followed by the Sixth Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 6) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which meets from 17-19 July 2013, in New York, US. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention, meets for its 10th session in Geneva from 2-13 September 2013.

The HLMDD outcome document will support the aims of the CRPD and other goals. [Co-facilitators' Letter to Member States] [Website of Disability Consultation] [CRPD COP 6 Webpage] [Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Webpage] [Final Discussion Summary - Persons with Disabilities] [IISD RS Story on March E-Discussion]