FNs Tusenårsmål og funksjonshemmede
The disability dimension has so far been overlooked/ignored by the world leaders, the leading development agencies and their plans to reach the millennium development goals and reduce world poverty, yet 1 in 5 of the world’s poorest people are disabled.
The report of the Secretary General, Keeping the promise, of 12th February 2010, identifies the need for addressing the most vulnerable as an emerging issue that may create an obstacle to achieving the millennium development goals. The Secretary General points out that children with disabilities remain among the most marginalized and the least likely to go to school. The circle is vicious.
It is obvious that without including and targeting people with disability in plans and strategies for combating poverty the MDGs stand little chance of success. Although disability is recognised as an important cross cutting issue by many, including the UNDP, EU and UN member states, disability targets are not included for the MDGs. Further, people with disabilities are often excluded from international and national poverty reduction plans.
At this stage, it is crucial for governments, donors, international agencies and civil society organisations to collectively address disability through the implementation of inclusive development strategies. Without such an approach disabled people will continue to be excluded, live in poverty and the MDGs will ultimately fail to be achieved.
Inclusive development recognizes all individuals as equal members of society who should be actively engaged in the development process irrespective of disability, age, gender, ethnicity or any other status. Inclusive development is best achieved by designing policies, products, programmes, laws, services – and creating environments – that can be used by all people, including disabled people.
The way forward
The Secretary General calls for a global partnership with all stakeholders to support the MDG agenda. Disabled people themselves and their organisations along with other relevant civil society organisations are ready to join forces with the UN on reaching the millennium development goals.
The new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities should be a guiding tool to fulfil all commitments towards inclusive development.
In order to reach the Millennium Development Goals, the UN should recognise disability as a cross cutting issue and consult, or enter into strategic partnerships with, disability organisations globally and nationally to ensure inclusive and targeted interventions.
a) Education for All as a top priority
Education is a key factor for development. Education is also a fundamental human right; a right that is denied to over 72 million children. Of the 72 million children that are left out of school, one third are children with disabilities. The UN Secretary General in his report calls for a discussion on best strategies to achieve education for all.
We call for a holistic and inclusive education strategy as a means to reach all vulnerable groups, including disabled. Inclusive education has proven quite successful (EFA Global monitoring report 2010).
b) Armed violence
The incidence and impacts of armed violence constitute a fundamental challenge to our common humanitarian and development aim. Greater effort to reduce the incidence and impact of armed violence will be critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Armed violence is both a cause and consequence of underdevelopment.
According to recent research, armed violence kills at least 740,000 people each year – the vast majority of them civilians. Many more suffer injuries or acquire long-term disabilities. Armed violence destroys the social fabric of communities, undermining human, social and economic development efforts. Many survivors are left with deep psychological and physical scars.
We need to see disability specific strategies that integrate the short-term humanitarian perspective and the long-term inclusive development perspective. This will most likely have a greater impact on disabled people, their families and the numerous communities affected by armed violence.
Bildet ovenfor er et eksempelbilde av nyere dato. Ahmad Elchaar mistet begge beina i et bombeangrep i Syria. Med nye proteser kommer han seg rundt. Foto: Torgrim Halvari