The Global Disability Summit

 In Advocacy Hub

The Global Disability Summit (GDS) was held online on 16 and 17 February 2022 and was co-hosted by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the governments of Norway and Ghana. In addition, the GDS included a Youth Summit, Civil Society Forum and 91 side events. One side event was co -hosted by our members See You Foundation, ZOA and the Leprosy Mission as part of the Dutch government-funded project We Are Able!.

The Summit involved more than 7000 participants across all regions and professional sections of the world, including but not limited to the UN Secretary-General and seven UN agencies, representatives of 17 governments, and organisations of persons with disabilities (ODPs) and academia.

During the various sessions, the conversation revolved around several flagship topics.

  1. The intersectionality between gender and disability. In particular, the need to empower women and girls with disabilities to realise their human rights and fight against discrimination and human rights violations.
  2. Climate change and conflicts were addressed as cross-cutting challenges. People with disabilities are often left behind physically, as they might not have the ‘privilege’ to become refugees or IDPs.
  3. The need to rebuild resilient and sustainable health systems that guarantee inclusive health to fight against inequalities between and within societies was stressed by many participants.
  4. Regarding education, stakeholders reiterated Support for community inclusion of people with disabilities and strengthening community-based infrastructures, facilities, and services.

Finally, the Summit Secretariat established an accountability mechanism to implement the 1250 commitments made by stakeholders and help them achieve their promises. For example, one of the commitments was a pledge by the EU of devolving €5 million in funding for the UN Partnership on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNPRPD).

EU-CORD has committed to reducing discrimination and stigmatisation by promoting attitudinal change in communities and across all development cooperation and addressing intersectionalities. To do so, we will move beyond the rhetoric and toward genuine efforts to counter bias around disability, incorporating disability inclusion as a cross-cutting theme in our work, and commit to disability-inclusive humanitarian and development action.

To learn more about disability inclusion and the work of EU-CORD’s members on the matter, check out our first Communications and Advocacy Newsletter of 2022.

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