People with disabilities must be included in post-2015 development agenda, says UN Youth Blogger

People with disabilities must be included in post-2015 development agenda, says UN Youth Blogger

(LONDON) - KATE Turner, a volunteer from Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) UK currently on placement in Rwanda, has been selected to be a UN Youth Blogger at a high-level summit in New York, America, where she will be calling for people with disabilities to be included in the post-2015 development agenda.

Having gained first-hand experience of the issues facing people with disabilities in her role as volunteer advocacy advisor in the National Union of Disabilities' Organisations of Rwanda, Kate has now been awarded the prestigious honour of becoming a UN Youth Blogger for the United Nations Department of Public Information and NGO Conference in New York.

The conference, which takes place from 27-29 August, will focus on the role of society in the post-2015 development agenda and will bring together 1,300 civil society organisations to network, develop partnerships and discuss the draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015.

VSO UK volunteer and UN Youth Blogger, Kate Turner, 31, says:

“Shockingly, the current Millennium Development Goals do not feature disability or inclusion despite the fact that persons with disabilities are amongst the world's poorest and most marginalised people.

“It is imperative that the new Sustainable Development Goals follow a human rights-based approach, with participation, equality and non-discrimination at the core. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is hugely important when it comes to protecting, respecting and fulfilling the rights of persons with disabilities and this must underpin all new development goals.”

While things are starting to move in the right direction, with some mentions of inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals’ Open Working Group, Kate, who will be the only blogger from the UK,  firmly believes disability must be a cross-cutting theme in the next phase of development and it is an issue she is determined to tackle as part of her role as UN Youth Blogger.

 “I will be the eyes and ears of the conference in New York, digesting the direction of conversations and questioning whether persons with disabilities will be adequately included,” explains Kate. “As an official UN blogger, I will also be sharing my observations on my blog and twitter, as well as the experience I have gained working on the topic of disability while volunteering for VSO, an international charity fighting poverty through volunteers.”

During the conference, Kate will also be blogging about women and equality, in support of VSO’s Women in Power initiative, as well as how volunteers can contribute and be involved too.

To follow Kate in her role as UN Youth Blogger, or visit her personal blog.  You can also find Kate on Twitter at @kateturner45. For more information about VSO, visit 


Kate Turner will be in New York, America, blogging from the summit, and will be available for media interviews from 25-29 August 2014. For more information, please contact:

Angela Singh, Media Officer, VSO UK
Telephone:  020 8780 7368

Editor's notes

VSO – Voluntary Service Overseas – brings people together to fight poverty through the lasting power of volunteering. We work alongside communities worldwide to create positive change. Our programmes are in some of the world’s poorest countries, reaching millions of people through improved access to services in education, health, HIV/AIDS, disability, and governance. VSO’s vision is of a world without poverty, but we can only achieve this by working together.