I am pleased to make this statement on behalf of Sweden and my own country Norway.
We welcome this useful evaluation of UNDP’s contribution to disability-inclusive development. We recognize that UNDP already has played an important role in this field, but also notes the numerous recommendations on how UNDP can improve this work.
We certainly agree with the finding that UNDP is well-positioned to play a prominent role in advancing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, both globally and at the country level.
The 2030 Agenda makes 11 specific references to persons with disabilities or disability. This makes it even clearer that UNDP has to have an active forward-leaning approach on this – as part of the efforts to leave no one behind. The next UNDP strategic plan should give greater prominence and attention to the rights of persons with disabilities.
We appreciate how other statements today have highlighted highly relevant aspects of the evaluation. In addition to this, we would especially underscore the importance of follow-up on the recommendations related to the needs of persons with disabilities in crisis prevention, early recovery and post-crisis development planning, as well as the importance of incorporating reference to disability in the forthcoming updating of UNDP’s gender equality strategy.
As contributors to the Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Multi-Donor Trust Fund, Norway and Sweden are very pleased to see that UNDP has been instrumental in making the Partnership a success. This mechanism represents a good practice of UN reform – by promoting collaboration at country level as well as the integration of UN normative and operational mandates in keeping with the QCPR.
According to the evaluation, there remains high, unmet demand from UN country teams and partner countries to participate. We encourage other donor countries to contribute to the Trust Fund.
Finally, we have learned from this report that an estimated 20 per cent of the populations in UNDP program countries live with disabilities that have a direct impact on their daily lives. This is a strong reminder why this issue has to be on the agenda throughout UNDP as an organization, and we welcome the strong focus on inclusion in the 2016 Human Development Report ‘Human Development for Everyone’, which will be launched in Stockholm, in March.
We would like to highlight the need for UNDP to ensure that learning becomes part of the DNA of the organization and that the findings and recommendations of evaluations like this become known by all UNDP staff members. Awareness on this is particularly important as UNDP should be a role model on how to ensure effective disability inclusion and accessibility within your own organization.
It would be interesting to hear how UNDP throughout the organization will disseminate and raise awareness about the evaluation findings and plans for follow up.