Ahead of the United Nations (UN) Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September this year, the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD) and Sightsavers International on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, has launched a 100-Day campaign for an action to protect Global disability rights at the Sight Savers office Woodland Estate, Congo in Freetown.
In his presentation, Sightsavers Global Advocacy officer for Anglophone West Africa Region Jumah Kamara said the SDGs were adopted in 2015 by the UN and governments around the world to reduce poverty and inequality by 2030, adding that “the 17 ambitious SDGs goals could be met if governments around the world including our beloved Sierra Leone commit themselves to achieve the goals” he maintains.
He revealed that, after the 100 days campaign, officially launched on June 12, member states would gather at the SDG Summit in New York to make new commitments and assess progress made so far. “it is Against this backdrop, the Commission and Sight Savers are raising awareness of the leave no behind mantra in implementing the SDGs” he concluded.
Presenting the Press Release, Tamba Mondeh, NCPD Programme Manager, said the world is falling behind on disability rights, and the launching of the 100-day campaign is a way to kick start the movement to ensure the implementation of SDGs adequately includes Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at all level across the spectrum of governance. He, however, revealed that Sierra Leone as a country is not doing baldly in the implementation.
Tamba Mondeh accentuated that if marginalized groups like PWDs are included in the implementation process, it may jeopardize the entire process. He furthered that this campaign is geared towards highlighting progress on the SDGs and calling for actions on the global stage.
He continued that the call follows a new UN report which shows that the SDGs can only be achieved if urgent action is taken to include those most often left behind.
He said in Sierra Leone, Sightsavers and National Commission for Persons with Disability are also calling for Government to revive the implementation of principles from the Inclusive Data Charter, ratify the Africa Disability Protocol and domesticate the Marrakesh Treaty and commit to disability-inclusive and specific accelerated actions targeting people with disabilities to transform the SDGs at the SDG Summit and beyond.
He concluded that the Commission, as a government institution enacted by an act of parliament, would work with Sightsavers and other partners to ensure that Sierra Leone as a country and the Government leave no one behind in implementing the SDGs.
In the press release, Sightsavers’ Nancy Smart, Country Director, said, “As the world is coming to the halfway point of the 2030 deadline, progress on the SDGs has derailed – they are completely off-track. The promise to leave no one behind is in peril”. Adding that the UN Secretary-General’s report shows people with disabilities are being hit hardest by the lack of progress on poverty and inequality. Globally, up to twice as many people with disabilities live under the poverty line than people without disabilities.