Norway strongly supports the outcome document from the High Level Meeting held on the 23rd of September. The High Level Meeting stresses the importance of the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and of including persons with disabilities in the new development agenda beyond 2015. Norway will work together with others to achieve this.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a crucial framework in this regard. The CRPD is based on the concept of universal human rights. We cannot pursue sustainable development without the meaningful involvement and active participation of persons with disabilities.
Equality for persons with disabilities must be included in the different policy sectors. When viewed as a side issue, it is not taken into account.
Data on disability is essential in order to monitor progress. There is an immense need to improve the quality of disability data and statistics, including internationally comparable approaches.
All children deserve opportunities to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to society. Education is the key! Children with disabilities are disproportionally denied their right to education. Of the 57 million children in the world who do not attend school, an estimated 24 million are children with disabilities. Efforts must be stepped up to ensure that all children receive proper high quality education.
Women and girls with disabilities are often exposed to double discrimination, and are at a higher risk of experiencing gender-based violence and other forms of abuse. Activities targeting women and girls must include women and girls with disabilities.
Norway maintains a human rights based approach to its international development cooperation, and we thus believe it is important to secure inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of our development cooperation. Ensuring the protection of persons with disabilities in humanitarian emergencies is of essence.
We will never reach the development goals if disability is not properly addressed and visible in the way forward. Development goals leaving out the needs and rights of one billion people can never be sustainable.
Thank you, Mr./Ms. Chair.