- March 15, 2024

Geneva, Switzerland – The International Disability Alliance (IDA), under the leadership of President Dr. Nawaf Kabbara, has marked a significant stride in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities at a series of meetings at the United Nations in Geneva.

Dr. Kabbara met with Dr. Heba Hagrass, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, to delve into global issues affecting the disabled community and to advocate for the strengthened integration of disability rights into international human rights  and political frameworks. The talks highlighted the need for robust support systems that are inclusive and accessible to all, and the shared commitment of IDA and the Special Rapporteur to collaborate as she embarks on her important mandate. 

In the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur at the 55th session of the Human Rights Council, Dr. Kabbara stressed that “OPDs are the heart and soul of the disability movement”, and in the annual debate on the rights of persons with disabilities he highlighted the importance of CRPD standards on autonomy and independence in transforming support systems. 

Dr. Kabbara also engaged with various organizations representing persons with disabilities attending the 30th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), hearing their perspectives and concerns, and discussed the priorities of the disability movement with CRPD Committee members, including the Chair of the Committee, Gertrude Fefoame, Rosemary Kayess, and Muhannad Al-Azzeh. 

L-R: Nada Al-Nashif, OHCHR Deputy High Commissioner; Dr. Nawaf Kabbara, IDA President; Jahda Abou Khalil, Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD); Jarrod Clyne, Head of Advocacy at IDA

Further, productive conversations were held with Nada Al-Nashif, OHCHR Deputy High Commissioner, and OHCHR officials including Facundo Chavez. These discussions were geared towards reinforcing the global disability movement's role in peacebuilding processes, addressing disability-related persecution and the impacts of climate change, and the role of OPDs in the development agenda. The dialogues emphasized the importance of collaborative action and the need for increased support from Member States to increase funding to ensure a fully accessible UN treaty body system and the effective implementation of the CRPD.

These meetings in Geneva have underscored the commitment of the International Disability Alliance and its partners to advancing the rights and of persons with disabilities internationally. IDA continues to work tirelessly, advocating for change and pushing for the inclusion of disability rights within all aspects of global governance and policy-making.

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