Once again Ghana is at the forefront of this global movement as government preps to co-host the second edition of the GDS along with the government of Norway and the International Disability Alliance which is locally represented by the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD).
For certain, the Global Disability Summit (GDS) is the world’s biggest gathering of Persons with Disabilities and stakeholders presenting a vital opportunity for governments and organizations everywhere to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as previous commitments made during the first GDS in 2018. Due to COVID-19 pandemic the Global Disability Summit will be held online and many stakeholders are upbeat that the virtual gathering will translate into gains of expanding participation and seamless tracking of events and their outcome.
Plans are far advanced with feverish working meetings between members of Ghana government and the local organizing institution – the GFD to make the event productive and impactful, positioning Ghana as a disability-friendly nation, advancing the cause of persons with disabilities.
Being the host nation, Ghana’s track record on pro-disability policies and indeed overall commitment to the rights and needs of persons with disabilities will be obviously scrutinized. The GFD is poised to make the most of this rare opportunity to improve partnership with government to secure and work with commitments that capture the priority needs and expectations of the community of persons with disabilities. Executive Director of the Federation, Rita Kusi Kyeremaa says the GFD’s posture in all these engagements is seeking for “a winwin value chain approach which provides opportunities that develop, integrate and promote the potential and well-being of persons with disabiliteis as valuable citizens positively impacting the country’s growth”.
The GFD is also using its joint campaign platform with SightSavers dubbed “Equal World” to push government as a co-host of the 2022 summit, “to show leadership on the continent and ratify the African Disability Protocol as well as call on other member States of the African Union to urgently do same”
The first Global Disability Summit in 2018 was a pivotal moment for disability rights globally, bringing political leadership under the spotlight to take charge of its obligations and commit to do more. Despite this progress, many of its commitments are yet to be met and financed to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities, especially from marginalized groups, are protected and enforced worldwide.
The Global Disability Summit (GDS), has four key objectives:
- Raise global attention and focus on neglected areas and inclusive sustainable development.
- Strengthen the capacity of organizations of persons with disabilities in the Global South and their engagement with government.
- Mobilize targeted and concrete commitments on disability inclusion and inclusive development.
- Showcase best practice and evidence from across the world on disability inclusive development and progress made from DGS in 2018
Overall, the GDS 2022 will seek to facilitate for political will to increase inclusiveness and equality in line with the principle of leaving no one behind.
Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD)