London: The UK hosted the first ever Global Disability Summit today and called on international partners to tackle the prejudice faced by disabled people.
The landmark summit was co-hosted alongside the Government of Kenya and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and will see the UK challenging established practices to ensure that equal rights of disabled people are upheld.
The International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, led a global call to ‘move from rhetoric to action’ on improving the lives of disabled people, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.
As part of the UK’s commitment, Ms. Mordaunt also announced a new innovative UK Aid Connect programme which will work with different organisations within small communities to support disabled people into jobs in the developing world.
The UK-led event brought together government ministers, business leaders, and disabled people from all over the world to tackle what is a burning global issue. Governments and other organisations will commit to work in partnership with each other to put disabled people and their representative organisations at the front and centre of their work.
Mr. Muhammad Yusuf, Minister for National Health Services and Regulation, Abia Akram, Director Projects Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP), Sehar Saeed, Deputy Director Research Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi attended the summit from Pakistan where they highlighted the Charter of Demands that were endorsed by various stakeholders in the Pakistan Disability Summit held earlier this month.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, said:
“The path a person takes in life should not be dictated by their disability and yet people are forced, every day, to deal with prejudice and even violence.
“That is why the UK’s first ever Global Disability Summit is dedicated to bringing together our international partners and transforming the lives of the world’s most vulnerable and why we are committed to ending discrimination and stigma against disabled people.”
International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said:
“Discrimination and stigma against disabled people is a global injustice – one that has been ignored for too long – and one we need to fix urgently.
“Today I am calling for countries around the developing world to stand alongside disabled people in their countries and commit to end stigma and fully value the contribution disabled people can give to the success of those nations.
“This isn’t just the right thing to do for humanity – it is also the smart thing to do because it’s impossible to end extreme poverty if a significant part of your society is left out of the deal.
“Today we will learn from each other and will make commitments to enable disabled people to reach their full potential.”