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Monica Samanta



05/21/2008

Article Review: First Membership Meeting of the GPDD in Eschborn, Germany

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This first meeting of the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) held in Eschborn, Germany, was an important milestone in that it brought together world leaders, civil society organizations, other agencies and stakeholders from continents around the world to focus on protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. With the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the United Nations on May 3, 2008, the convening of the GPDD is just another step towards eradicating the injustice affecting the 650 million persons with disabilities worldwide.

"Ms. Maria Reina has been selected to serve as the Executive Director of the Secretariat of GPDD. The Secretariat will be hosted by the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) of the Syracuse University, who will receive the World Bank’s Development Grant Facility in order to support the growth and organizational development of the GPDD."
Source: http://go.worldbank.org/1MHJ8PJ1X0

The GPDD is a new initiative organized to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities and their families. It was formed to encourage synergy among agencies, organizations, and other relevant stakeholders to reduce the marginalization of men, women, and children living with disabilities worldwide. This population includes persons born with disabilities as well as those who become disabled through injuries, diseases, disasters and other causes.

The statistics are too high to go unnoticed. With 10% of the world's population living with disabilities, the GPDD is a necessary and promising initiative that will help promote the rights of persons with disabilities, allowing them to have access to education, health care, and employment opportunities worldwide.


Read the full article below to learn more about the first membership meeting of the GPDD.


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Washington DC, 9 May 2008

First Membership Meeting of the GPDD in Eschborn, Germany

World leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceania representing civil society organizations, governments, and multilateral agencies including the World Bank and UNESCO unanimously approved a Charter and elected the First Board of Directors for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). Meeting at the headquarters and as the guests of the German Technical Corporation (GTZ) in Eschborn, Germany, the assembled agencies and organizations made a core commitment to a world of inclusive communities where individuals with disabilities regardless of age, gender, or type of disability enjoy their rights and have access to opportunities on an equal basis with others.

With a commitment to partnership to combat the social and economic exclusion and impoverishment of people with disabilities and their families in developing countries worldwide, the GPDD represents an unprecedented alliance of agencies, organizations, and resources to accelerate change within and outside of government that targets development activities to include and promote social and economic rights of individuals with disabilities.

Four years of planning by a Coordinating Task Force culminated in the historical formalization of GPDD with the election of the First Board of Directors in Eschborn, Germany, last Wednesday.

The 12 members elected to the Board of Directors are:

-Mr. Khandaker Jahurul Alam, Asia Pacific Disability Forum
-Ms. Tanya Barron, Leonard Cheshire Disability
-Mr. A.K. Dube - African Decade Secretariat (Chair of the GPDD Interim Board)
-Ms. Sangita Gairola, Representative of the Government of India
-Ms. Celia Siphokazi Gcaza, African CBR Network (CAN)
-Mr. Kalle Könkkölä, Disabled Peoples' International
-Mr. Rudiger Krech, GTZ
-Ms. Euphrasia Mbewe, World Federation of the Deaf
-Mr. James Mwandha, Commonwealth Disabled Peoples' Forum
-Mr. Andreas Pruisken, Christian Blind Mission
-Ms. Indumathi Rao, CBR Network South Asia
-Dr. William Rowland, World Blind Union

This unique Global Partnership will bring important world attention to the needs and aspirations of people with disabilities in developing countries. The assembled GPDD members agreed on a beginning plan of action to expand the membership base of GPDD, promote data collection and analysis that identifies more accurately the living conditions of and barriers faced by people with disabilities in developing countries; to facilitate information sharing on effective inclusive development policies and programs; to support the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in cooperation with partners and member organizations; and mobilize resources to build the capacity of the GPDD broad constituency through alliances and networks to become a reliable and effective expert disability and development platform.

With support from the World Bank and the governments of Italy, Finland, and Norway as donors to a Multi Donor Trust Fund, the GPDD will bring much needed attention to reduce poverty and eliminate barriers to full social and and economic participation. For more information about GPDD and how you may become involved, please contact Maria Reina, Executive Director at mvreina@law.syr.edu

Maria Reina
Executive Director
The Global Partnership for Disability and Development