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IDPP Attends UN GA High Level Meeting on Disability & Development

IDPP delegation at UN General Assembly HLMDD (group photo)An IDPP delegation participated in the United Nations (UN) General Assembly High Level Meeting on Disability and Development (#HLMDD) on 23 September 2013 at UN Headquarters in New York. A momentous event for the UN and the largest international gathering on disability, the theme of the meeting was “The Way Forward: A Disability Inclusive Development Agenda Towards 2015 and Beyond.” The event featured heads of state and government officials; ministers and parliamentarians; and a significant number of civil society representatives, including many within the IDPP network.

The IDPP delegation led by Executive Director Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn included Assistant Director of Communication Ms. Maya Aguilar and Program Coordinator Ms. Kerry Honeycutt. The delegation travelled to New York from 21-24 September to meet with affiliate partners in the disability and public policy fields; prominent event participants; IDPP Advisory Board and Executive Committee members and capacity building participants, as well as attended a reception hosted by G3ict, among others.

Upon their arrival on 21 September, IDPP staff met with Mr. Emerito Rojas, executive director of the New Vois Association and a capacity building participant of the 2013 IDPP Annual Meeting. That evening, the IDPP attended a pre-launch briefing session for ICT Opportunity for a Disability-Inclusive Development Framework co-hosted by G3ict at the Yale Club in New York. The briefing’s welcoming remarks were given by, among others, IDPP Advisory Board member Amb. Luis Gallegos, permanent representative of Ecuador to the UN in Geneva and vice chair of the UN Human Rights Council.

On 22 September, the delegation met with Ms. Aiko Akiyama, Social Affairs officer at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), to further deepen the IDPP’s collaboration with this prominent organization. IDPP staff also attended Rehabilitation International’s General Assembly Meeting, where both Ms. Akiyama and Amb. Gallegos delivered remarks on the Incheon Strategy and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The IDPP subsequently met with Dr. Victor Pineda, founder of World ENABLED and an IDPP Advisory Board member.

The UN General Assembly and HLMDD attendees convened at the UN on 23 September from 9:00am-6:00pm EST. In addition to two plenary sessions, myriad side events facilitated further, in depth discussion of several key areas related to disability and a post-2015 inclusive development agenda. Amb. Gallegos spoke at “Eradicating Extreme Poverty: Addressing the Disability Disconnect” while Dr. Tej Bunnag, chairman of the Board of IDPP partner Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), moderated a panel discussion during “Community, Rights-Based and Disability-Inclusive Development.”

The IDPP held its September Executive Committee meeting on 24 September from New York, with in-person and virtual components. While many members participated virtually from around the world, IDPP staff were joined physically by members Mr. Shuichi Ohno, executive director of The Nippon Foundation (TNF) and TNF colleagues, as well as Mr. Akiie Ninomiya, executive director of APCD, and Amb. Gallegos. Following this meeting, the IDPP delegation continued discussing its prospective involvement in a global Policy Observatory on Social Inclusion (POSI) in a meeting with Handicap International’s Ms. Priscille Geiser and Dr. Malcolm MacLachlan, Professor of Psychology at Trinity College in Dublin.

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