The UK will host the first Global Disability Summit in London, to highlight the discrimination and stigma faced by people living with disabilities.
The Global Disability Summit will take place today (Tuesday 24 July) and will gather together the UK’s international partners to discuss ways of tackling the discrimination and prejudice faced by people with disabilities, especially in the developing world and other places where disabled people are particularly vulnerable.
The summit will be hosted in conjunction with the Government of Kenya and the International Disability Alliance, and feature a keynote speech from Ecuadorean President Lenín Moreno, who himself has a disability.
These stakeholders will pursue binding commitments from delegates to take concrete and transformative actions to improve the lives of people with disabilities. It will be attended by a spectrum of stakeholders, including government ministers, business leaders, and organisations supporting people with disabilities, and develop partnerships which will further the aims of the summit.
What contributions will the UK make to the summit?
For the UK’s part, the government will announce a new aid programme, titled UK Aid Connect, which will collaborate with local organisations in small communities to help people with disabilities into employment in parts of the developing world.
Additionally, the UK has committed to a new global partnership to improve access and affordability of technologies such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aids and glasses, with the aim of improving the lives of up to 500 million people globally by 2030. Further, alongside the Global Disability Summit will be a showcase and marketplace for these technologies.
What has the UK government said about the summit?
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed the summit as an opportunity to engage partners in the developing world in pursuit of greater opportunities for people with disabilities. She 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.”