Effective steps stressed for mainstreaming PWDs to meet SDGs

ISLAMABAD  -  Demanding a transformative and accelerated action that is inclusive of people with dis­abilities (PWDs) and in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Dis­abilities (CRPD), political leadership has been urged to mainstream inclusion of persons with disabilities in all the initiatives towards achieving sustainable devel­opment goals (SGDs).

While addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, the representatives of interna­tional organization Sightsav­ers said that this demand has been made before the UN 2023 SDGs Summit in order to highlight the key issues and urgency of the matter.

Munazza Gillani, Coun­try Director Sightsavers, in­formed that 15 percent of Pa­kistan’s population, around 36 million people, are suffer­ing from some sort of disa­bility, and the absence of an enabling environment and infrastructure is responsible for their isolation and exclu­sion from the socio-economic development. There is an ur­gent need to ensure their in­clusion and this upcoming UN 2023 SDGs Summit provides an ideal platform to highlight the need of their inclusion. 

She further stated that “The SDGs were meant to leave no one behind, and it’s crucial that we hold leaders accountable to that promise as we approach the UN 2023 SDGs Summit in September.

Abia Akram, chair of the National Forum for Women with Disabilities and Glob­al Ambassador for Sightsav­ers’ campaign, underlined the urgency of the situation, stating, “We cannot afford to let the progress towards these critical goals derail further. Inclusivity must be a priority.”

Globally, Sightsavers ex­tends a resounding call to global leaders to place the goal of inclusivity at the fore­front of their agenda. They implore leaders to remem­ber the commitment they made to the most vulnerable among us and make use of this final opportunity to re­align the SDGs with their in­tended trajectory.

Asim Zafar, Secretary Gen­eral of the Community Based Inclusive Development Net­work Pakistan, said that it is imperative to include the voices of people with disa­bilities and their represent­ative organisations in the discussions around how to make SDGs implementation more inclusive and equita­ble for all.

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