High-Level Political Forum Press Release


Disability Rights Representatives Address “Inclusiveness and Equality” at the High-Level Political Forum

New York City, NY – Disability rights leaders came together in New York City from 9 July 2019 – 19 July 2019 to ensure that the world’s one billion people with disabilities were being considered during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in which member states report on the progress of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) congratulate members of the UN Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilitieson their achievements in bringing issues that greatly impact people with disabilities such as education, employment, inequality, climate change, and peace into focus in the HLPF. We also congratulate DRF/DRAF grantees and partners for their contributions to this work.

Of the 47 countries that volunteered to present their national voluntary reviews to the Forum, 7 were DRF/DRAF target countries – Fiji, Indonesia, Nauru, Palau, Rwanda, Tonga, and Vanuatu. DRF/DRAF supported DPO representatives from the Pacific Islands – from Omekesang (the Palau Disabled Persons Organization and a former grantee), the Fiji Disabled People’s Federation (a current grantee), and the Pacific Disability Forum – to attend the Forum. These representatives were actively involved in the Civil Society Organization (CSO) Voluntary National Review (VNR) task forces in their countries.  They co-presented with government ministers during the Forum.

DRF also provided funding to Indonesian grantee –  OHANA – to work with a coalition of DPOs to draft a report for the Indonesian Voluntary National Review.  The report titled Report by Coalision of Organization for Persons with Disabilities for the Voluntary National Review – Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goalsis a spotlight report on disability, human rights and development addressing SDG Goals 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17.

The work of these disability leaders gives us hope that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for persons with disabilities will become a reality.

DRF/DRAF is thankful for the support of our donors including: The Ansara Family Fund of the Boston Foundation,the Ford Foundation, The Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation, the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, the Foundation to Promote Open Society, part of the Open Society Foundations, and U.K. aid from the U.K. government (DFID). DRAF is supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and U.K. aid from the U.K. government (DFID). The views expressed in this communication do not necessarily reflect the official policies of any of our donors, or the governments they represent.


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