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What the Global Disability Summit achieved

23 October 2018

On 24 July 2018, the UK government co-hosted its first ever Global Disability Summit with the International Disability Alliance and the Government of Kenya.

View Global Disability Summit summary

The Summit was attended by approximately 1200 delegates from around the world, including the President of Ecuador, the Vice-President of Argentina, five heads of UN agencies and over 40 government Ministers from around the world. 67 countries were represented, along with nearly every multilateral agency and leading figures in the global disability community.

Disability Rights UK's CEO Kamran Malik spoke at one of the summit plenary sessions on Dignity and Respect for All: creating new norms, tackling stigma and ensuring non-discrimination.

Kamran Malick also wrote a thoughtful (and popular) blog where he addressed the irony of the Government's commitment to promoting the rights of disabled people abroad, whilst at the same time possibly being the cause of a reduction in rights for disabled people in the UK.

That being said, the event was successful in highlighting initiatives for and by disabled people throughout the world and for the pledges made by organisations committing to future action.

As such, Disability Rights UK was pleased to be associated with the event.

Global Disability Summit achievements

The Global Disability Summit resulted in 170 sets of ambitious commitments, and over 320 organisations and governments signed up to the Summit’s Charter for Change – an action plan to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Among the most significant pledges made were commitments to pass transformative new laws to protect the rights of people with disabilities, as well as assurances to help those affected by humanitarian crises. There were also commitments to help millions of persons with disabilities access affordable assistive technology. Please see further detail of the commitments made here

Next steps

Following the Summit, the Department for International Development, alongside the co-hosts, are working to develop an accountability mechanism to support and monitor progress made against the new commitments. An online portal is being created on the International Disability Alliance website to ensure all commitments are highly visible and accessible, and a key stakeholder group and a partnership forum have been established to design a long-term approach to accountability. Progress against the commitments will be monitored and a one- year on progress report produced to share good practice and lessons learnt.


If you are interested in being a part of this movement, please email globaldisabilitysummit@dfid.gov.uk.