GAATES Call to Action – Urban Dialogue on the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda

Americas, May 22 2016

The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environment (GAATES) along with many other leading global civil society organizations, such as WorldEnabled, the Zero Project, Secretaría Técnica para la Gestión Inclusiva en Discapacidades (SETEDIS), International Disability Alliance (IDA), G3ict, Christian Blind Mission (CBM) to name a few, have been working together to ensure that the UN Habitat Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda – is inclusive of the needs of persons with disabilities, and fully addresses and explicitly defines Universal Design and accessibility.

See the CALL to ACTION below, and the Background information for a ‘snap-shot’ of the issues.

GAATES encourages you to take a moment and provide your comments and feedback on this very important initiative that will shape global development moving forward.


The Habitat III Zero Draft was submitted by the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee on 6 May 2016 and will be discussed at the upcoming session of the informal intergovernmental negotiations and informal hearings with local authorities associations and civil society organizations in May, June, and July 2016.

Individuals and organisations from around the world are invited to provide feedback on the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda – this dialogue is taking place in three phases from 9 May to 8 July 2016, in parallel with the informal inter-governmental meetings and stakeholder hearings taking place in New York.

There are two main topics on which you are welcome to provide comments:

Main Topic A: The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

– Sub-topic 1. Leave no one behind, urban equity & poverty eradication

– Sub-topic 2. Sustainable & inclusive urban prosperity & opportunities for all

– Sub-topic 3. Foster ecological & resilient cities & human settlements

Urban Dialogue on the Zero Draft: Main Topic A


Main Topic B: Effective Implementation

– Sub-topic 1. Building the urban structure: Establishing a supportive, sub-national & local framework

– Sub-topic 2. Planning & managing the urban spatial development

– Sub-topic 3. Enhancing means of implementation of the new urban agenda: Financing & other tools of implementation

Urban Dialogue on the Zero Draft: Main Topic B


The Habitat III Issue Papers provides in depth review and analysis of specific issues relevant to the discussions for the New Urban Agenda preparatory conferences. The twenty-two (22) Issue Papers are the departing point for the work of the ten (10) Policy Units.

“The Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda aims to be a concise, action-oriented, forward-looking, and universal framework of actions for housing and sustainable urban development.”

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) clearly articulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, address accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities with respect to the Urban Development Agenda in Goal 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Despite the MDGs and the SDGs, persons with disabilities continue to experience both physical and technological barriers, in small towns and large cities, in low-, middle and high- income countries. Lack of access to the infrastructure of the built and virtual environments, both of which are key elements to be addressed in the Habitat III outcome document, continues to represent significant obstacles to the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in long-term sustainable urban development.

The Habitat III outcome document provides the international community the best opportunity to address disability as a cross-cutting issue in the global development agenda, as inclusive urban development is integral to achieving the 2030 SDG goal of global poverty alleviation and addressing the global call – “No One Left Behind”.

However, for any outcome document of the Habitat III – Urban Development Agenda to be considered a success and reflect the human rights of all, the language of the Habitat III outcome document must fully reflect and mirror the concepts and language of the SDGs Goal 11, (as detailed in 11.1 – 11.7 and 11.a – 11. c). Furthermore, it must clearly articulate how inclusion and disability are to be addressed in terms of; regulatory structures and standards based on Universal Design and Design for All; planning approaches and implementation strategies that includes meaningful participation by the community of persons with disabilities; an urban policy framework that recognizes the community of persons with disabilities as stakeholders and beneficiaries.

– Zero Draft document:

– Main Topic A:

– Main Topic B:

– New Urban Agenda:

– Issue Papers:

– Policy Units:

Share this post: