By Justina Auta
The Federal Government has received a petition with 48,063 signatures from 121 countries calling for action to protect disability rights.
This is ahead of the UN summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), scheduled for between Sept. 18 and 19.
Miss Joy Tarbo, Communications Associate, Sightsavers Nigeria, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja, after the handing over of the petition to Dr. Betta Edu, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
According to Tarbo, the Nigerian Government has received a petition with 48,063 signatures calling for action to protect disability rights ahead of the UN summit on the SDGs.
She said: “The petition was handed to Dr. Betta Edu, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation; It was signed by 48,063 people from 121 countries, including Nigeria.
“The signees include Mr. James Lalu, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD); Dr. Zakariya Mohammed Deputy Director, OSSAP-SDG, the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), and Sightsavers.
“The campaign is calling on world leaders to keep the SDG promise of leaving no-one behind and ensure disability is specifically addressed in discussions on the SDGs.
“The government will join other member states at the SDG Summit in New York on the 18 and 19 to make new commitments and assess progress on the global goals.
“The outcome of the summit will be a political declaration and global and national commitments made by UN member states.”
Meanwhile, Dr Sunday Isiyaku, Sightsavers Country Director, says that as the world arrives at the halfway point of the 2030 deadline, progress on the SDGs has derailed, and completely off-track.
He said: “People with disabilities are being hit hardest by the lack of progress on poverty and inequality; The promise to leave no-one behind is in peril,” he said.
Similarly, Abdullahi Aliyu- Usman, President, JONAPWD, said “We are calling on all world leaders to speed up action on the SDGs and make sure they are inclusive of people with disabilities.
“They must ensure that the political declaration and all national commitments made at the summit, focus on reaching those who are being left furthest behind.
“This is our last chance to get the SDGs back on track.”
“The call follows a new UN report which shows that the SDGs cannot be achieved unless urgent action is taken to include marginalised groups, including PWDs in global progress,” he said (NAN)