The United Nation’s created the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were not as successful as originally intended by the UN. The SDGs have specific targets and indicators that have made them much more impactful. They also have language about persons with disabilities that the MDGs did not, making them more inclusive and holistic.
The Sustainable Development Goals added many new areas to the millennium goals ranging from peace and justice to climate change. All 17 goals have targets and indicators to track state’s progress as we move toward 2030. For example, Goal 11 – Sustainable cities and communities was created to make cities more inclusive, sustainable, and livable for all; one of the specific Goal Targets is “By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.” This is one of 11 direct references to persons with disabilities in the SDGs and provides a concrete goal for countries to reach in their development. In relation to my project, Goal 4 – Quality Education ensures all youth should have access education. Many youth do not thrive in a typical classroom environment, and therefore do not receive the quality of education they deserve; soccer-for-development programs help with this by providing students a place to play, learn, and thrive.
There are 9 major groups and stakeholders that are recognized by the UN beginning at Rio Earth Summit: Business & Industry, Children & Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Local Authorities, NGOs, Scientific Community, Women, and Workers & Trade Unions. All of these groups have a seat at the table in negotiating things related to sustainable development to have active participation by all citizens. The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was established at Rio+20 in 2012 to assist in the implementation of sustainable development. Their annual meetings are to discuss and bring structure to the SDGs and policies. The HLPF along with the Major Groups have kept the Sustainable Development Goals on track and moving towards 2030 by providing guidance and recommendations to fit the needs of all people.
With the adoption of the SDGs, the UN created #Envision2030 a campaign to create a world fully inclusive of persons with disabilities by 2030. The Convention on Rights for Persons with Disabilities is a human rights document that guarantees people with disabilities full equality under the law. There is a committee comprised of persons with disabilities, activists, scholars, etc. who monitors the CRPD members’ compliance with the convention. These actors and others serve to create awareness and inclusivity globally surrounding persons with disabilities.