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Zero Project Presents at UN DESA

By Tom Butcher, Zero Project representative in the U.S.

The Zero Project was recently asked by Maria Martinho (Secretariat for the CRPD/DSPD/UNDESA) to present at the 5th Expert Group Meeting on Monitoring and Evaluation for Disability-Inclusive Development at the UN in New York. As our representative here, I attended the meeting which took place at the headquarters of UNESCO over two days on December 13th and 14th.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to review the work conducted to date on, and what further needed to be accomplished for, the 2018 UN flagship report on disability and development to be published by its deadline later in 2018. To this end, in a series of sessions, experts presented the inputs received for specific sections of the report (each relating to either one SDG goal or a combination of such goals). These included, for example, the goals covering inclusive and accessible cities/human settlement (SDG 11), poverty and hunger (SDGs 1 and 2) and gender equality and empowerment of women with disabilities (SDG 5).

On the second day of the meeting, following these individual sessions, we, along with two other experts, were asked to make presentations on our “ongoing work on disability”.

Tom Butcher with Maria Martinho at the UN DESA Conference December 2017

The first two presentations came from Nancy Bolt of the International Federation of Library Associations, who talked about international library policies and procedures for people with disabilities and the SDGs, and Willetta Waisath from the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA, who talked about building and using global law and policy data to monitor and advance rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
I, then, gave a very brief presentation about our work, in general, covering social indicators and innovative policies and, much more specifically, about what we had discovered to be the important elements that had contributed to the success of the 11 innovative policies selected for inclusion in the 2017 Zero Project Report on Employment.
The two days were both most interesting and constructive, and it was an honour for us to be included in such august company. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my time at the UN was both catching up with so many of our old friends who were there and introducing our work to people who had never heard of us.
Thank you, Maria!