The UN World Data Forum took place in hybrid form, online and in Bern, Switzerland from 3–6 October, 2021. The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities (SGPwD) were actively involved in the Forum. The following details our presence and work in the Forum:

Prior to the Forum, collaborative advocacy efforts with CBM Switzerland and the International Disability Alliance resulted in excellent inclusion of persons with disabilities into the Forum’s sustainability concept with actions and recommendations around principles of sustainability. Please read more about the concept here.

During the Forum, were involved in two main events:

First, we organized an official session in the program with the International Disability Alliance, the World Blind Union, and CBM Global Disability Inclusion on “Innovative responses to data collection about and by persons with disabilities in the time of COVID-19” on 5 October.

The esteemed panelists and moderator included:

  • Ms. Laisa Vereti, Director Operations, Pacific Disability Forum
  • Mr. José Viera, Chief Executive Officer, World Blind Union / Global Disability Summit Secretariat Senior Manager
  • Ms. Neda Jafar, Head of Statistical Policies and Coordination Unit, UN ESCWA
  • Mr. Anderson Gitonga, Chief Executive Officer, United Disabled Persons of Kenya 
  • Dr. Jennifer Madans, Consultant on Disability Statistics, Washington Group on Disability Statistics
  • Moderated by: Mr. Facundo Chávez Penillas, Human Rights & Disability Adviser, OHCHR

The overall key messages from the event include:

  1. Data disaggregated by disability have to be at the center of policy design and decision making across the board in order to remove barriers and allow participation of all persons with disabilities, including in current and future emergencies.
  2. A greater focus on mainstreaming the collection of disability data is needed to continuously monitor the status of persons with disabilities and be better prepared for the next disaster. 
  3. Recognizing OPD-led data mobilization and creation, building key partnerships, investing in disability data, and building data capacity are vital to addressing disability data gaps.

You can watch the recording with International Sign interpretation and captions in English here.

Second, on 4 October, José Viera, Permanent Representative of the SGPwD, presented in the high-level plenary session on leaving no one behind and the need to measure equity. He highlighted the importance of gathering and using disability data, ensuring data are accessible, and including and consulting organizations of persons with disabilities in data processes. Click here to watch the full session!