On October 20th 2011, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (NUI Galway) and CBM Ireland in conjunction with Dochas and partners from the disability sector will host a one-day conference. Ms Judith Heumann, Special Adviser to the US government on International Disability Rights, will deliver the keynote speech. Other distinguished speakers include former Australian MP Bob McMullan. The conference is aimed at civil society, disability organisations, activists, development organization, students, policymakers and decision-makers, elected representatives and media.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the United Nations in 2006 has signaled the dawn of a new era in disability rights. To realize its vision, it must be understood in terms of the practical initiatives that are needed at a local, regional and global level to bring about inclusion for people with disabilities. These initiatives carried out in partnership with people with disabilities must be targeted at dismantling structural barriers that prevent the achievement of their full potential as citizens of Ireland and of the globe.

Spearheading these inclusive initiatives should not solely be confined to domestic policy responses of individual States. A spirit of global cooperation is now needed to respond to the diversity of places where people with disabilities live such as post conflict countries; fledgling democracies, low income and high-income countries.

This global cooperation should transcend borders, socio-economic barriers and cultural differences. It should focus on how the principles of the Convention can be realized and how inclusive development can facilitate this particularly in countries where resources are limited. The Convention tells us that inclusive development is not just about the transfer of financial resources. It is about reflecting on how international cooperation can be inclusive of persons with disabilities. It is about creating opportunities for collaboration among States and their citizens and it is about sharing knowledge of successful strategies for inclusion.

Along with hearing how development aid has brought positive change for persons with disabilities, the conference will also feed into the upcoming review of the Irish White Paper on Aid. For further details and to register for a brochure contact conference@cbm.ie

 

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Written by Mary Keogh