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Achieving global disability inclusion conference, Dublin 2013

Two men are standing receiving a picture from another man, a woman is sitting in the foreground
© CBM Ireland
Joe Costello Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Trade meeting with Hans Zomer, Director of the Dochas working group, David McAllister, CEO CBM Ireland & Mary Keogh, CBM Ireland Advocacy Coordinator

In order to discuss how Ireland can best promote disability inclusive development as part of their EU presidency and in the lead up to future discussions on Post-2015 Development Goals, CBM Ireland and the Dochas Disability and International Development Working Group held the 'Achieving Global Disability Inclusion' event in May 2013. The conference aimed at sharing international experiences of disability inclusive development and discussing good practice in global disability inclusion.

An Irish forum to discuss inclusive development

Logo for the Achieving Global Disability Inclusion event ©CBM Ireland and The Dochas Disability and International Development Working Group
Logo for the Achieving Global Disability Inclusion event
With the UN set to hold high-level meetings on both the future of global development and disability in the coming months, CBM Ireland and the Dochas Disability and International Development Working Group held an event entitled 'Achieving Global Disability Inclusion' in Dublin on May 14, 2013. The event was ideally placed to discuss how Ireland can best show solidarity with the 1 billion people worldwide who live with disabilities every day – particularly in the context of Ireland’s EU Presidency.

The day brought together development professionals, policymakers and activists to discuss good practice in global disability inclusion. The event was a timely event given the recent publication of the Irish government's new ‘One World, One Future’ development policy and its commitment to including persons with disabilities in Ireland's overseas aid programmes. Ireland’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Trade Joe Costello opened the conference putting the day’s agenda into the context of the new development policy. He also affirmed the government’s commitment to “bring disability to the table” during Ireland’s EU Presidency and particularly at the UN high level meeting on disability in September. 

Outline of the conference

The conference itself offered nearly 70 delegates from different sectors of Irish society an opportunity to learn from the ideas and experiences of international experts from Finland, South Africa and the US about how disability inclusive development can support the post-2015 agenda, and how to avoid the mistakes of the past. The conference’s discussion was framed by a policy document produced by the working group and supported by CBM Ireland. 

The half-day seminar had a very busy agenda. Split into two panel sessions, the conference gave the audience an opportunity to hear about how the Irish government and other governments are including persons with disabilities and also how civil society has an important role to play in promoting inclusion. 

Panel 1 - Sharing experiences of Disability-inclusive development

The first panel included contributions from Ms Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, Coordinator of the Office for Disability and Inclusive Development at USAID, Ronald Wiman, External Senior Advisor on Social Development at Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Nicola Brennan, Deputy Director for Programme Countries at Irish Aid. Each of the speakers discussed their own experiences of inclusive development and how they can be applied to post-2015 development. 

The panel was also addressed by Mr AK Dube, Chief Executive Officer of the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities who spoke about the need to learn from the past when it comes to informing priorities in the post-2015 world. In particular, Mr Dube informed the conference about the difficulties faced by people with disabilities in mainstream development - where they are often left behind, particularly in post-conflict situations and the need to ensure that all development efforts include people with disabilities.

Panel 2 - Development for all

Caroline Casey, founder of Kanchi moderated the conference’s second panel, which featured Aidan Leavy, Plan Ireland, Catherine Naughton, CBM International and Robin Webster, Age Action Ireland. The focus of the second panel was to discuss “Development for All” and why there is now more than ever a need to work strategically together on achieve Inclusive Development. Key messages from this panel included the need to move outside the boundaries that thematic groups such as gender, disability and ageing usually find themselves in and instead look at the common denominators, which cause discrimination and lack of access to development outcomes.

Further reading

Inclusive Development

How CBM works for an inclusive world in which all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential


Post-2015 Agenda

On 19 March 2013 the European Parliament’s Development Committee discusses its draft report on the post-2015 development agenda.

One world, one future - policy (pdf)


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