Brussels—On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2015, the European Commission hosted with the European Disability Forum (EDF), the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), CONCORD, CBM, Disabled People's Organisations Denmark (DPOD), Handicap International and Light for the World, the conference entitled “Leave no one behind: Tackling inequalities of persons with disabilities in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
This year, the EU was reviewed by the UN Committee on its work to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the world leaders. Therefore, European organisations of persons with disabilities and from developing countries met to make concrete contributions to on-going discussions concerning the EU's commitment to the UN CRPD and the inclusive 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
During the conference, policy makers and organisations of persons with disabilities appealed to leave no-one behind and to set up ideas for disability-inclusive development: policies, practices, implementation and monitoring for the continuing work of the international community toward an inclusive society.
Moreover, the European Commission introduced a new flagship project to provide the basis for a better implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the true test of commitment to the Agenda 2030 will be implementation. As the president of the African Disability Forum reported, even African countries ratified the SDGs, the SDGs represent a strong political commitment, so they are voluntary and not legally binding.
Another, hot spot were the SDG indicators and the Data Revolution. Policy makers emphasised the need of having good indicators for all the new SDGs and associated targets and improving the existing standards on collecting data.
Indicators are the backbone of monitoring progress towards the SDGs at local, national, regional, and global levels, so it is crucial to develop an integrated indicator framework for the SDGs. The European Commission will contribute to the multi-stakeholder debate and submit to the UN its list of indicators by March 2016.
Finally, participants agreed that the EU should indeed take a lead in the implementation of the Convention and set a path for others to follow.