Global Disability Summit (GDS18)
On Monday the 23rd July, IGDC Centre Team Members, Alan Msosa and Lauren Avery took part in the Civil Society Forum, which preceded the first ever Global Disability Summit (GDS18), in London. Read all about their experience here!
The Global Disability Summit (GDS18) and forum, hosted by DFID, the International Disability Alliance and the Government of Kenya, brought together 700 activists, governments and companies from across the world to commit to the Charter for Change, a document outlining 10 commitments to transforming the lives of the 1 billion disabled people across the world.
Signatures to the Charter for Change included 46 national government organisations, 17 private sector organisations, over two hundred civil society organisations and foundations plus a handful of research organisations. Improving access to education and assistive technology, tackling discrimination, economic empowerment and improving data collection on disability were amongst the ten commitments signed up to. The aim of which is to galvanise the global effort towards equality for disabled people moving forward from the adoption of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities over 12 years ago.
The forum itself gave an opportunity for government and non-government representatives to come together to highlight issues, showcase best practice and answer questions from the members of the public on issues affecting disabled people. The summit was hailed as a success by many organisations, with initiatives such as the World Bank’s Disability Inclusion Accountability Framework seen as an opportunity to pave the way towards true equality and empowerment.
However, not everyone was so supportive of the summit. Some disabled people’s organisations criticized the UK government’s hosting of the GDS18 as hypocritical; a government ‘found responsible for grave and systematic violations of Disabled people’s rights due to welfare reform and continues to dismiss the findings and expertise of the UN disability committee’ (Disabled People Against Cuts, 2018).
So what are the hopes for a summit like this? Working with IGDC partners, Development Pathways, Alan and Lauren answer this question in a joint blog post. You can read it on Development Pathways website here.
The IGDC hopes to bring disability to the centre’s research agenda in recognition that the SDGs cannot be realised without the full inclusion of all marginalised groups, including disabled people. If you are working on disability and would like to learn more about the IGDC interests in this area contact Research Support and External Partnerships Officer, Lauren Avery – email@example.com.