HCD organises the first webinar as part of the preparations for the Global Disability Summit (GDS)

The Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD), in cooperation with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Jordanian Coalition for Persons with Disabilities, today, held, the first webinar as part of the preparations for the Global Disability Summit (GDS), which will be presided over by His Majesty King Abdullah II and the German Chancellor in 2025.

The webinar, which was attended by a number of representatives of international organizations, civil society organizations, and organizations of persons with disabilities, as well as some United Nations agencies working in the region, aims at stimulating international cooperation and emphasize regional needs and priorities in the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and a number of Asian and Latin American countries. 

 In his opening remarks, Dr. Muhannad Alazzeh, Secretary-General of HCD and head of the GDS preparation taskforce in Jordan, stressed that HCD regards consultations and partnership with organizations of persons with disabilities, as a high priority, not least in determining the priorities that can be presented at the third GDS in 2025.

Alazzeh pointed out that Jordan, as an organizer of GDS in partnership with the German government and IDA, covers not only the Arab region in consultations and brainstorming with those concerned, but also developing countries or the so-called “global south” countries. Therefore, we were keen to have colleagues from the disability movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Alazzeh also confirmed that a second webinar will be held in July, and a final regional pre-summit will be organized by HCD in Amman, next November, bringing together a number of representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities, governmental and voluntary sectors, as well as international organizations from various countries around the world.

On his part, IDA President, Nawwaf Kabbara, stressed the significance of Jordan co-hosting the third GDS, especially given the Kingdom’s regional and international reputation in the field of the rights of persons with disabilities. He added that quality and substantial change must be made in the lives of persons with disabilities by policy makers around the world for them to be able to uphold international obligations and commitments per international laws, covenants and laws.

 During the webinar, speakers reviewed the list of themes for the GDS, in which the discussion was opened for organizations of persons with disabilities to contribute to identifying sub-themes of regional interest.
The webinar included a number of separate dialogue sessions such as: the commitments of the countries participating in GDS and the mechanisms for their enforcement, how to involve organizations of persons with disabilities and civil society organizations to come up with an exceptional global summit that is different from previous summits, and identifying priorities within the main themes of the GDS for the year 2025.

The GDS is considered a unique global mechanism that aims to improve the lives of people with disabilities, and to unify efforts between stakeholders at the global, regional, and local levels, who share the same goal and vision about humanitarian work and disability-inclusive development.

 These summits aim to bridge the gap between disability and development cooperation, as the GDS represents a mechanism for continuous advocacy with relevant parties at the global level in the field of development and gaining support for the movement for the rights of persons with disabilities, and most importantly of all, it is a partnership between member states and organizations of persons with disabilities, which is also reflected in the way in which co-hosting arrangements are made.

The first GDS was held in London in 2018, and the second summit was held in Oslo in 2022. While the next GDS will be held in 2025 in cooperation between the Jordanian government, the German government, and IDA, on April 2 and 3, 2025 in Berlin.

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