The SDGs contain 11 explicit references to persons with disabilities, and explicitly underscore the importance of ‛leave no one behind’ as a foundational element.
This provides significant space for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development initiatives and more broadly across society. However, to turn these political commitments into meaningful action, persons with disabilities must be included in the design and delivery of national initiatives to implement the SDGs; data collection efforts by National Statistical Offices; and the national, regional and global monitoring and review processes to hold decision-makers to account in alignment with the relevant internationally agreed guidelines and standards adopted by the UN Statistical Commission and in line with the UN inter-agency group on the issue of data and statistics, monitoring and evaluation.
Despite considerable efforts across international development actors, persons with disabilities remain left behind in many areas; they are often not included in national planning or data collection efforts and therefore are not mainstreamed into national development plans and budgets. With 10 years to go, the UN has ushered in a Decade of Action to ambitiously step up efforts to deliver the SDGs by 2030.