WBU at the High-Level Political Forum, United Nations: inclusion begins at the local level where we join forces to create accessible, inclusive and resilient environments (Global Outlook 09/23)

September 7, 2023 4:40 am Published by
WBU Team and Marielos de Rueda (Guatemala)

WBU Team and Marielos de Rueda (Guatemala)

The World Blind Union team was in New York for the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations in July. The HLPF is the annual gathering globally to review and follow-up on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2023, SDG 11 on Sustainable Cities was one of the goals undergoing deeper review.

Following the recognition of WBU’s work around inclusive and accessible cities globally, WBU addressed the high-level segment on SDG 11. Our CEO Marc Workman highlighted the key importance of localization as a vehicle for change where governments, communities, and civil society, not least Organisations of Persons with Disabilities, join forces to tackle the accessibility crisis. You can access the recorded statement here: WBU CEO giving remarks at the HLPF at the UN in New York

Through our partnership with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) we jointly developed a policy brief, in collaboration with UNHABITAT and International Disability Alliance. The policy brief titled Localization to Solve the Accessibility Crisis; Recommendations to States Parties for Immediate Action, offers several recommendations to address inclusion. Read it here: Localisation report.

With the HLPF happening from 10 – 19 July, the two weeks offered WBU the opportunity to discuss making sustainable development goals inclusive. We hope to have more organizations of people with disabilities more present next time.

“It is really important I think for Organizations of People with Disabilities to participate in these conversations. There are unfortunately not a lot of people with disabilities at this event, and if we are not at these types of events talking about our issues then they will simply not be taken into account when decisions are being made that affect our lives. So it is really important for us to be here,” says Marc. Watch his full remarks here: More People with Disabilities need to be present at the High Political Forum

During the HLPF, the WBU co-organized a SDG learning session on SDG 11 focusing on progress, challenges, lessons learnt and tools for sustainable transformation. The WBU presentation focused on the main takeaways and recommendations from The Journal of Public space Special Issue; Universally Accessible Spaces for All (Click on it for further reading on it) , which we co-developed with City Space Architecture in 2022. You can access the recorded session and session materials here: SDG 11: Progress, challenges, lessons learned and tools for sustainable transformation of cities

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This post was written by Fridah Mlemwa