CRPD and the New Urban Agenda

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) reflects upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to the same rights and freedoms (Preamble B). The CRPD highlights the unequal impacts of poverty on persons with disabilities The CRPD defines disability as “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others (Article 1, CRPD). Article 28 of the CRPD calls for States to “recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right without discrimination on the basis of disability” (CRPD, Article 28, 2009).

The New Urban Agenda plays an integral role in ensuring that these rights are realized. Cities will play an integral role in achieving the goals set forth in this agenda. Therefore, the New Urban Agenda will require an urban paradigm shift and requires cities to:

“Readdress the way we plan, finance, develop, govern and manage cities and human settlements, recognizing sustainable urban and territorial development as essential to the achievement of sustainable development and prosperity for all.” (Article 15, New Urban Agenda)

While rapid urbanization has many challenges, it also provides many paths for inclusion. The New Urban agenda can also help propel the SDGs.  In order to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty and zero hunger, the voices and perspectives of the world’s most marginalized people must be included at every stage of development. All segments of society must co-adopt the responsibility to bring transformation changes to all citizens. Therefore, a disability perspective towards development is fundamental to transformation and for the achievement of the SDGs and New Urban Agenda.