First Global Forum on Disability: Voice of Our Own

June 4, 2014

Logos of DPI, WDU, G3ICT, GAATES, The Hans Foundation, the UN, Global Call to Action, ASEAN

First Global Forum on Disability: Voice of Our Own


Co-organised by: DPI, WDU, G3ict, and GAATES

Supported by: UNDESA, GCAP, WNTA, and ASEAN Disability Forum

Sponsored by: The Hans Foundation



 Conference Room: 3, Secretariat Building, United Nations, New York

June 9th 2014 13:15 – 18:00 

Background: Among the world's 1 billion people with disabilities, 800 million live in the Global South. The World Bank reports that people with disabilities comprise 20 percent of the world’s poorest of the poor, in fact majority of them are in the developing countries that have been experiencing a higher risk of living in poverty, deprivation and neglect.


At the global level, unfortunately the voice of disabled people from Global South has not found sufficient resonance in the policy making and decision making processes. This must be changed if we and the whole international community are committed towards ensuring an inclusive development agenda. 


Disability is both human rights and development issue. 


The world today is at a critical juncture. There has already been a lot of discussion within the UN for a post-2015 development agenda. Civil society organizations and DPOs from the South do have much to contribute to the ongoing processes leading up to 2015 and beyond. Disabled People’s International (DPI), the world’s first cross-disability global disabled people’s organisation, feels obligated to make a joint effort along with our friends and partners to achieve this goal starting with an initiative of organizing a Global Forum on Disability. DPI is uniquely positioned to anchor this event as we have an unparalleled reach in the grassroots disability community – in over 140 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Arab, CIS, Europe, Latin America, North America & Caribbean.


As such DPI, together with World Disability Union (WDU), the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communications Technologies (G3ict), the Global Alliance on Accessible Technology and Environments (GAATES), and The Hans Foundation; and with support from UN DESA, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA) and the ASEAN Disability Forum (ADF) proposes to organize the first ‘Global Forum on Disability: Voice of our Own’ on 9th June 2014, in conjunction with the 7th Conference of States Parties. In collaboration with Governments, United Nations system and national and international DPOs, the Forum will focus its discussion on strategic and practical ways and means to address the key challenges faced in implementation of the CRPD and share the voices and good practices in eliminating poverty, creating employment and decent work, promotion of accessibility including through appropriate technologies such as ICTs. Aspiration, experience and solutions from the South and international cooperation in the context of inclusive and sustainable development will be the highlights.

We welcome all DPOs and relevant CSOs to join our concerted effort to make this Forum a success. 

Draft programme as on 26th May is as follows:

13:15 – 14:00   Opening Session

14:00 – 15:00   Post-2015 Development Agenda: Are we leaving the   grassroots voices behind?

15:00-16:00      Q&A

16:00 – 17:00    National Implementation & Monitoring: Key to realising CRPD

17:00-17:30       Q&A

17:30-18:00      Closing Session

Background on each session:

Post-2015 development agenda: Are we leaving the grassroots voices behind?

This session will discuss the processes working towards formulating the post-2015 development agenda; the developments so far; and inclusion of disability as a cross-cutting issue. It will focus on the need to enhance voices, aspiration and contributions from the grassroots especially the Global South and making national and regional organisations/DPOs more involved.

National Implementation & monitoring: Key to realising CRPD

This session will focus on the role of grassroots DPOs in implementation and monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It will bring the experiences of leaders from various countries, including young persons with disabilities, especially those from the Global South.

Additional information:

Expression of interest for speaking slots is now closed. Each session will have four to five speakers. Each speaker will get 7-8 minutes to speak. 

Each session will have time allotted for Q&A at the end. 

CART and Sign Language Interpretation will be available.
Questions can also be submitted through email at
Follow live tweets from the Forum through hashtag #GFDisability on Twitter.