- July 17, 2013

New York, 16 July 2013 – A well attended Civil Society CRPD Forum (CSF) was held today co-ordinated by IDA with the support of DPI, DRF, GPDD, HRW, IDDC and RI and co-sponsored by UN DESA, Australia, Bulgaria, Mexico and New Zealand.

The CSF, which has been focused this year on the post-2015 agenda, included four thematic sessions. The first session looked at the process so far and the second session on the next steps. The third session looked at some of the key demands of the disability movement and the last session looked at inclusive development. Eight national DPO representatives spoke during the lunch break session on their experiences from the national level. Each of the thematic sessions was co-chaired by one of the co-organising civil society organisations and by the ambassadors of New Zealand, Bulgaria, as well as representatives from the missions of Australia and Mexico.

The opening session included the IDA Chair and the ambassador of Kenya to the UN, H.E. Mr. Macharia Kamau, Chair of the Bureau of the Conference of States Parties and co-chair of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, who stated his support to the demands of the disability movement.

Speakers at the event included, among others, Ms. Amina Mohammed, the Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, Mr Richard Morgan, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of UNICEF on post-2015, Ms. Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, as well as Mr. Jeffrey Huffines, representatives from the Major Groups. The different speakers gave good advice to national, regional and global DPOs on how to influence effectively the next steps of the process that will follow on from the September 25 Special Event on the MDGs. Ms. Risna Utami from the Indonesian Consortium for Disability Rights summarized the demands of DPOs very effectively by stating that development can only be sustainable if it is inclusive.

“Persons with disabilities were absent from the Millennium Declaration, and remained absent throughout the MDG processes. This cannot happen again. Now is the time to recognize the shortcomings of the MDGs, and ensure a positive shift towards mainstreaming disabilities in the new global partnership, beginning in 2015” stated Yannis Vardakastanis, IDA´s Chair, during his speech at the opening of the CSF.

The closing session included very well received statements from the Second Vice-Chair of IDA, Mr. Colin Allen, the Chair of DPI, Mr. Javed Abidi, and Ms. Akiko Ito from UN DESA.

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