Skip to main content
+ -

Welcome to the Global Disability Summit

The next Global Disability Summit will be held in Berlin in April 2025, find out more about the GDS on this website.


Participants at a GDS meeting. A lady wheelchair user holds a microphone to a man who is speaking. Three other participants stand next to them smiling.


The Global Disability Summits have four main objectives:

Raise global attention on disability inclusive development and humanitarian action everywhere and for everyone

Build ownership and capacity of OPDs, especially in the Global South countries to enable them to engage in all relevant processes with local governments and other stakeholders, as equal partners

Provide global, regional, and national stakeholders a platform to mobilise innovative, impactful, and far-reaching commitments on disability inclusive development and humanitarian action based on a multi-stakeholder, cross-cutting approach

Showcase good practices and evidence from across the world to inspire change on disability inclusive development and humanitarian action

What is the Global Disability Summit?

The Global Disability Summit (GDS) is an international mechanism created in 2017 following conversations between the UK Government and the International Disability Alliance (IDA). The Global Disability Summit envisions a strong ongoing and innovative multi-stakeholder, cross-border and co-operation that invests in bringing long-lasting change to all persons with disabilities.  The GDS is also mandated to promote investment in disability inclusive development and humanitarian action, with an intentional focus on developing countries. It offers a unique and concrete mechanism for collecting ambitious and wide-spread commitments, critical to achieving real change for persons with disabilities.

History of the GDS

The first-ever Global Disability Summit was organised in 2018 by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Government, the Government of Kenya and IDA. It was held in London in 2018 and represented a historic moment for the global disability movement and the rights of persons with disabilities. The event brought together high-level decision makers with existing champions of disability inclusion, emerging partners, and new donors. You can read more about GDS2018 here

The second Summit was hosted by the Government of Norway, the Government of Ghana and IDA. It was held virtually on the 16th and 17th of February 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic but still managed to build upon the results achieved at GDS2018 and take the mechanism higher and further. More than 7,000 participants including over 100 global leaders (and over 50 representatives of States) attended the Summit and it galvanised new and ambitious commitments. You can read about GDS2022 hereWatch the recordings of the GDS2022.

What will happen next?

The International Disability Alliance (IDA), the Government of Germany, and the Government of Jordan will host the third Global Disability Summit on 2nd - 3rd April 2025 in Berlin. You can keep up to speed with news regarding GDS2025 here

Hot off the press!

Read our latest Tweets