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RIO+20: the final document of the conference includes disability issues


United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 20-22, one of its results is the outcome document “The future we want”. 

As the result of significant preparatory work on promoting the principle of inclusive development by the Secretariat of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) the problems of disability were included in the final document. There are 5 links to disability in the final document: 

9. We reaffirm the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other international instruments relating to human rights and international law. We emphasize the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind to race, colour, sex, language or religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status.

43. We underscore that broad public participation and access to information and judicial and administrative proceedings are essential to the promotion of sustainable development. Sustainable development requires the meaningful involvement and active participation of regional, national and sub-national legislatures and judiciaries, and all Major Groups: women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and farmers, as well as other stakeholders, including local communities, volunteer groups and foundations, migrants, families as well as older persons and persons with disabilities. In this regard, we agree to work more closely with Major Groups and other stakeholders and encourage their active participation, as appropriate, in processes that contribute to decision making, planning and implementation of policies and programmes for sustainable development at all levels.

58. We affirm that green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should:

(a) be consistent with international law;

(b) respect each country’s national sovereignty over their natural resources taking into account its national circumstances, objectives, responsibilities, priorities and policy space with regard to the three dimensions of sustainable development;

(c) be supported by an enabling environment and well-functioning institutions at all levels with a leading role for governments and with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society;

(d) promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, foster innovation and provide opportunities, benefits and empowerment for all and respect of all human rights;

(e) take into account the needs of developing countries, particularly those in special situations;

(f) strengthen international cooperation, including the provision of financial resources, capacity building and technology transfer to developing countries;

(g) effectively avoid unwarranted conditionalities on ODA and finance;

(h) not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade, avoiding unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country, and ensure that environmental measures addressing trans-boundary or global environmental problems, as far as possible, are based on an international consensus;

(i) contribute to closing technology gaps between developed and developing countries and reduce the technological dependence of developing countries using all appropriate measures;

(j) enhance the welfare of indigenous peoples and their communities, other local and traditional communities, and ethnic minorities, recognizing and supporting their identity, culture and interests and avoid endangering their cultural heritage, practices and traditional knowledge, preserving and respecting non-market approaches that contribute to the eradication of poverty;

(k) enhance the welfare of women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, smallholder and subsistence farmers, fishers and those working in small and medium enterprises, and improve the livelihoods and empowerment of the poor and vulnerable groups in particular in developing countries;

(l) mobilize the full potential and ensure equal contribution of both women and men;

(m) promote productive activities in developing countries that contribute to the eradication of poverty;

(n) address the concern about inequalities and promote social inclusion, including social protection floors;

(o) promote sustainable consumption and production patterns; and

(p) continue efforts to strive for inclusive, equitable development approaches to overcome poverty and inequality.

135. We commit to promote an integrated approach to planning and building sustainable cities and urban settlements, including through supporting local authorities, increasing public awareness and enhancing participation of urban residents, including the poor, in decision making. We also commit to promote sustainable development policies that support inclusive housing and social services; a safe and healthy living environment for all, particularly children, youth, women, elderly and disabled; affordable and sustainable transport and energy; promotion, protection and restoration of safe and green urban spaces; safe and clean drinking water and sanitation; healthy air quality; generation of decent jobs; and improved urban planning and slum upgrading. We further support sustainable management of waste through the application of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). We underline the importance of considering disaster risk reduction, resilience and climate risks in urban planning. We recognize the efforts of cities to balance development with rural regions.

229. We reaffirm our commitments to the right to education and in this regard, we commit to strengthen international cooperation to achieve universal access to primary education, particularly for developing countries. We further reaffirm that full access to quality education at all levels is an essential condition for achieving sustainable development, poverty eradication, gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as human development, for the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals, as well as for the full participation of both women and men, in particular young people. In this regard, we stress the need for ensuring equal access to education for persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, local communities, ethnic minorities and people living in rural areas.