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Ensuring that no one is left behind: Envisioning an inclusive world in 2030
Inclusion is at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Inclusiveness speaks to the notion of empowerment and the principle of non-discrimination. It is reflected in the pledge to leave no one behind and in the vision of a “just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met” and “a world in which every country enjoys sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all” (paragraphs 8 and 9). It is also reflected both in goals and targets, including Goal 4, which refers to inclusive and equitable quality education; Goal 8, which refers to sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; Goal 9, which refers to inclusive and sustainable industrialization; Goal 11, which refers to inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements; and Goal 16, which refers to peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and to accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. It refers to the need to include everyone in societal processes, and conveys the notion that people should not only be allowed to thrive, but should have a voice and effective opportunities to shape the course of development. Thus, the Agenda is relevant to all countries and all people, belongs to everyone, and its success will depend on the active implication and engagement of all actors and on reaching the furthest behind first.

Making the inclusive world envisioned in the 2030 Agenda a reality will require innovation in policy-making and implementation. It will require rethinking economic development strategies and the manner in which economic, social and environmental policies are conceived and delivered. Along with policies aimed at aggregate outcomes, inclusion calls for identifying and addressing the barriers faced by disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the access to resources, services, and opportunities. This, in turn, will require effectively drawing into decision-making and policy formulation and implementation, at all levels of government, the groups that are typically excluded from these processes and left behind in the outcomes.

This session will discuss solutions to the challenges of inclusion in both outcome and procedures, through innovation in policy formulation and implementation. Perspectives from the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental – will be presented.

Possible questions for discussion:

  1. What does inclusion mean in practice (in relation to policies, institutions, legal instruments and other mechanisms) and how are governments addressing the challenge?
  2. What lessons can be learned from concrete experiences at national, regional and global levels aimed at inclusion in outcomes and decision-making processes?
  3. How can innovation in policy-making and policy implementation be fostered to face the challenges of inclusion in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?

1 The 2030 Agenda does not define inclusion or inclusive. The Overview of the Report on the World Social Situation 2016, Leaving No One Behind: Progress Towards Achieving Socially-Inclusive Development (UNDESA, January 2016) considers social inclusion as the “process of improving the terms of participation in society, particularly for people who are disadvantaged on the basis of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, economic and migrant status”.  

Chair:
  • H.E. Mr. Hector Alejandro Palma Cerna, Deputy-Permanent Representative of Honduras to the UN and Vice President of ECOSOC

Moderator:
  • Ms. Lisa Foster, Director of the Office for Access to Justice of the United States Department of Justice

Panellists:
  • H.E. Mr. Ion Jinga, Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations and Chair of the 54th session of the Commission for Social Development
  • Ms. Onalenna Selolwane, Executive Committee Member of the Mosadi Khumo Socio Economic Empowerment Forum for Women and member of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP)

Lead discussants:
  • Mr. Ibrahim Ismail Abdallah, President of the Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD)
  • Mr. Alvaro Esteban Pop Ac, Chair of the 15th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues– UNPFII
Biographies
H.E. Ambassador Ion Jinga
Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations and was Chair of the 54th session of the Commission for Social Development
H.E. Ambassador Ion Jinga

Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations and was Chair of the 54th session of the Commission for Social Development

Dr. Ion Jinga has been Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations in New York since 2015. He was Chair of the 54th session of the Commission for Social Development. Ambassador Jinga joined the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992. He was Director General for the European Union in the Ministry and a member of the Romanian Delegation to the Convention on the Future of Europe. He was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to the Kingdom of Belgium and to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Ion Jinga has degrees in Physics and Law from the University of Bucharest and is also a graduate of the National School for Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA). He has an MA in European Administration from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, and a PhD in Law for his thesis entitled “Institutional Reform of the European Union in the Context of the Intergovernmental Conference to Review the Maastricht Treaty”.

Mr. Alvaro Esteban Pop Ac
Chair of the 15th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - UNPFII
Mr. Alvaro Esteban Pop Ac

Chair of the 15th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - UNPFII

Mr. Alvaro Pop is the current Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He is founder and president of the Organismo Naleb', a civil institution in Guatemala that specialises in the analysis of the national budget, promoting debate and proposals on the reform of the state in multicultural societies and political participation of indigenous peoples. Mr. Pop was the head of the Indigenous Electoral Observation Mission in Guatemala in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011, as well as international election observer of the Organization of American States. He leads the political talk show with multicultural perspective in the TV Maya channel and is also a columnist and editor for different magazines and newspapers. Mr. Pop was a member of the National Commission for Constitutional Reform on Indigenous Peoples from 1996 to 1999. He also participated in the preparatory process of the Peace Accords and as an analyst of constitutional reform in

Mr. Ibrahim Ismail Abdallah
President of the Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD)
Mr. Ibrahim Ismail Abdallah

President of the Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD)

Mr. Abdallah is President of the Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities and Dean of Inclusive Education at Al-kafaat University, where he teaches on human rights and disability. He is also a Member of the Executive Committee for the National Council on Disability. Mr. Abdallah was previously President of the Lebanese Council of Disable People (LCDP), President of the Lebanese Universities’ League for the Blind (LULB), the Lebanese Representative in Disabled People International (DPI), and part of the Lebanese delegation for negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Mr. Abdallah has contributed to various publications on the rights of persons with disabilities and provided training on numerous related issues, particularly through the LCDP and the National Association for the Rights of Disabled People (NARD) projects. He has a bachelor of arts in Business Finance and Political Science and a Master’s degree in Commercial Law.

Ms. Lisa Foster
Director of the Office for Access to Justice of the United States Department of Justice
Ms. Lisa Foster

Director of the Office for Access to Justice of the United States Department of Justice

Lisa Foster is the Director of the Office for Access to Justice of the United States Department of Justice. She previously served as a California Superior Court Judge in San Diego where she presided over criminal, civil and family law departments. Foster began her legal career as a Staff Attorney at the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles and later joined the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and served as the Executive Director of California Common Cause. Foster has taught as Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law. Foster received a B.A. in American Studies from Stanford University and J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Ms. Onalenna Selolwane
Executive Committee Member of the Mosadi Khumo Socio Economic Empowerment Forum for Women and member of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP)
Ms. Onalenna Selolwane

Executive Committee Member of the Mosadi Khumo Socio Economic Empowerment Forum for Women and member of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP)

Dr. Onalenna Selolwane is Executive Committee Member of Mosadi Khumo, an organization committed to women’s inclusion in Botswana in the context of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. She is also a member of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP). She is former Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Sociology, University of Botswana. She was a consultant for the Botswana National Framework for Sustainable Development and African Union’s Africa Agenda 2063. Dr. Selolwane was one of the editors of the African Sociological Review and has published extensively in areas of governance, electoral politics, agrarian studies, urban economies, ethnicity, gender, poverty and development policy analysis. She served on the Executive Committee of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), was founder and President of the Emang Basadi Women’s Association and has served as consultant in the development of government policies and programmes for women, youth, rural development, agriculture, poverty reduction and crime prevention. Dr. Selolwane holds a master’s degree in development studies from the University of Sussex and a doctorate degree in development studies from the University of East Anglia.

Statements
Statements
Sri Lanka