Inclusive Belarus: Leaving No One Behind in Reaching Sustainable Development Goals

21 November - 10 December | Minsk - Hrodna - Brest - Homiel - Mahiliou - Viciebsk - Minsk, Belarus

In 2016 following the ‘UN 70 Belarus Express for SDGs’ initiative held in October 2015 and ‘Inclusive Belarus’ campaign held in November-December 2015 in Minsk, the United Nations in Belarus is launching a new nationwide ‘Inclusive Belarus: Leaving No One Behind in Reaching Sustainable Development Goals’ regional advocacy campaign focused on SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities. The campaign will be launched from October 24 (UN Day) until December 10, 2016 (International Migrants Day) by the UN, the Government, NGOs, business and the international community.

The Inclusive Belarus Advocacy Campaign promotes the continuation of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) journey as well as United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) implementation in Belarus. Over the next fifteen years, with the SDGs that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The UNDAF 2016-2020 revolves around a number of thematic fields that closely correlate with the new Agenda for Sustainable Development: good governance, economic development, environment, and sustainable human capital. These areas have also been aligned to the priorities included in the National Strategy for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Belarus until 2030.

The Inclusive Belarus Advocacy Campaign envisages travelling to each Region of the country for one day and visiting a total of at least 6 cities around the country during the 3-week period facilitating a dialogue between ordinary Belarusians, representatives of vulnerable groups, policymakers and opinion shapers through workshops, conferences, debates, talk shows, movies, exhibitions, sports, theatre, art, dance and music to examine what barriers exist for disadvantaged populations and how together we can eliminate them.

The journey to becoming an inclusive society may be long and challenging, but ultimately this journey can strengthen Belarusian society and benefit all. 

GOALS OF THE CAMPAIGN

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Raise awareness about discrimination, barriers and inequality;

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Fight stigma and stereotypes about vulnerable groups;

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Provide a platform for a dialogue to the most vulnerable groups of population on the issues of equal opportunities and active participation of all people in social, economic and political life.

UNDP activities during the campaign

The Inclusive Belarus Advocacy Campaign seeks to involve all groups of population in a comprehensive set of public events and activities across the regions covering a number of priority issues, including, but not limited to domestic violence and gender equality; child protection and child rights; rights of people with disabilities; public health, including issues related to HIV/AIDS and TB, noncommunicable diseases and healthy lifestyles; migration; environmental protection; public-private partnership, etc.

Mini Cup in blind table tennis

UNDP gave an opportunity to everyone interested to take part in a mini Cup in blind table tennis. One of the exclusive features of blind table tennis is that during the game all players put thick bandages on the eyes and therefore are forced to react to the sound of the bouncing ball. The game itself resembles a combination of the classical table tennis and air hockey. The opponents of the exhibition visitors were professional tennis players with impaired vision, who demonstrated outstanding skills in this inclusive game that is rapidly gaining popularity. The competition in blind table tennis has been organised in partnership with public association "Belarusian Society of the Visually Impaired".

Web-application Destandable

A unique mobile and web application Destandable (interpretation software that uses sign language) has been launched as a part of UNDP’s information campaign “Inclusive Belarus”. The application will help remove barriers for people who find it difficult to communicate verbally. The developers of this software are five students from Belarusian State University who earlier participated in Hackathon Imaguru. The project is supported by UNDP in Belarus.

You have a chance to meet the team of developers during the activities of the “Inclusive Belarus” campaign. “Inclusive Belarus” is in Gomel on November 30, in Mogilev on December 2, in Vitebsk on December 6 and in Minsk on December 9.

A training «Inclusion or illusion»?


UNDP's partner youth public association "Otkrovenie" introduced a training session titled "Inclusion or illusion", which is aimed at breaking down the barriers to the active involvement of people with disabilities in society. The workshop is a part of a course in leadership for young people with disabilities "Leadership with no limitations" and was designed by Natalia Byakova and Natalia Susko, who are themselves physically challenged young women. The session is educational and introduces “inclusion” as harmonious interaction of all people in the society. The participants study the concepts of "inclusion" and "integration" and their differences in meaning. The discussion has been particularly heated around the claim that in order to become inclusive, society should focus on individual interpretations of "inclusion". The exhibition stand of youth public association "Otkrovenie" displays numerous art works that demonstrate an impressive creative potential of people with disabilities. 

Women Leadership School


Women Leadership School focuses on the topics of the impact of gender on leadership, building a career and corporate culture in organisations, and is aimed at incentivising women to develop leadership skills and making sure that more of them are willing to apply for the leading positions. Participants of the seminar placed emphasis on the fact that professionalism and high level of education of Belarusian women is an important prerequisite for successful career management. It has also been pointed out that in order to achieve career success among women, first and foremost, it is necessary to radically change the negative perception of women's professional ambitions in the society.

Women Leadership School is organised with the participation of "Belarusian Women's Union" and Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus. Training sessions are being held in all cities in the "Inclusive Belarus" campaign.