Tiina Nummi-Södergrens framförande under statspartsmötet i New York 8-12 juni


Contribution panel discussion – Mainstreaming disability in the reduction of poverty and inequality

My name is Tiina Nummi-Södergren and I work for an umbrella organization for Swedish DPO development cooperation – MyRight. My experience comes from leading this work and networking for the Post 2015 agenda in Sweden and in the countries there we have partnerships in the developmental cooperation.

To really reduce poverty among persons with disabilities – PWDs and their families, we need to take real action and be involved in all the sustainable development goals – SDGs, that deals with poverty reduction. We need a conscious process to be involved and mentioned in the implementation work on all levels, both nationally, regionally and globally in the strategic plans. Follow up and review also have to include persons with disabilities and their families. Disaggregated data and statistics in line with indicators, will support the monitoring.

A sustainable development, that includes PWDs and their families, do have to contain several goals and indicators from the Post 2015 agenda, in order to reduce poverty and promote equality. The national plans must be developed together with CSOs – civil society organizations. Disabled People´s organizations must be included in this networking.

To end poverty in all forms and everywhere, the first goal among the SDGs, have no disability specific indicator. This is a clear weakness and will cause problems in the national implementation. Only vulnerable groups are mentioned and disability should be targeted as an own, measurable part of the indicator. Especially as PWDs and their families are so overrepresented among really poor people.

Gender equality is often the starting point. It is also a requirement when it comes to PWDs. Multiple discrimination is more common among the poorest people with disability. We can also learn from the struggle for gender equality. Poverty eradication requires social inclusion in economic growth, also of groups that due to inequality have not been part of it before. The social protection systems reduce inequality and enable a different share of resources. The economic growth must take into account both new resources in the system but also a reallocation of resources. Social protection involves groups that earlier on could not be part of development neither as consumers. This inclusive economic growth and social protection reduce inequality and gives PWDs their families a possibility to live their lives more independently. In this 8th SDG is also full and productive employment part of the structure. Indicators that mentions disability is on place.

Goal 16 will also help poverty reduction. All PWDs and their families in armed conflicts and in natural disasters must be included more consciously in all rescue work, as well as in post conflict situations, refugee situations, and peace keeping. An indicator about inclusion of vulnerable groups and people with disability is already there.

As a majority of PWDs and their families are today living in developing countries, the formulation of the developmental work and agenda is of great importance, to reduce poverty and inequality. DPOs disabled people’s organizations and PWDs must be included in all ages and different spheres of life. The twin track approach with bilateral work, as well as partnerships including south/south, is most effective when it comes to this development agenda. DPOs and PWDs must be involved in the planning. Swedish Sida development authority and MyRight a DPO umbrella for development cooperation works combined in this way.

Several other SDGs can be covered with own indicators in the national planning linked to poverty reduction. Education has two indicators mentioning children with disabilities. Health could be another goal but no special indicator exist so far in the SDGs. Access to food and drinking water should be included as well. Gender sensitive measures must be applied to this work and it must reach PWDs irrelevant of age, ethnicity or other grounds of discrimination. These areas are to be highlighted when implementing the SDGs in the national planning as well.

When implementing the SDGs nationally, it must be done in line with the UNCRPD. This tool will guarantee that rights for PWDs are included in the national context and not neglected. As the convention of rights of persons with disabilities is so widely spread and ratified today, this is the best way to avoid discrepancies in implementation. It also gives requirements for a rights based inclusion

Civil society participation is most important and it has to embrace DPOS and PWDs in the net working. Together with other CSOs, cross cutting can be a way to reach and influence decision makers, different departments, institutions and authorities. A human rights based approach and a Multi stakeholder approach can be reached, with broad involvement of civil society. This should be requested in all national planning for the implementation and monitoring of SDGs as well as being requested in all sustainable development. Consultation between governments, authorities and CSOs should take place. Knowledge from many actors and stakeholders should be taken into account. This results in a mutual understanding of the process. Also a common understanding about strengths and weaknesses can grow. Of course there can still be different and should be different opinions and ways of developing national and developmental issues concerning SDGs. But it helps to network, discuss and work with the SDGs from our specific angles. This will also bring us persons with disabilities in direct dialogue with decision makers.

The Swedish government has involved CSOs both in consultations of the Post 2015 agenda as well as in the negotiations of the SDG as well as the inter-parlimentarian negotiations of the SDGs in the UN. To the state party sessions of UNCRPD, Swedish government has as well invited DPOs in their official delegations. This has resulted in that disability has come through better in the preparations and the work as a whole.