Skip to main content

About the GDS Secretariat

The Global Disability Summit Secretariat is the hub-place for the global efforts towards disability inclusive development, which were launched in London in July 2018.

The Global Disability Summit Secretariat is housed within the International Disability Alliance and functions to support and lead global efforts towards achieving disability-inclusive development. Some key aspects of the Secretariat are:

  • Leading the civil society and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPD) engagement at the Global Disability Summits (GDS), which are held usually every 2-3 years. The Secretariat is also in charge of any related events in parallel with the main Global Disability Summits, including the national, regional, and global events.
  • Organising and leading any other parallel events including the Civil Society Forum and the Youth Summit. 
  • Developing worldwide partnerships with a variety of stakeholders to ensure good quality commitments towards disability-inclusive development, and supporting those stakeholders towards making and achieving their commitments.
  • Developing and coordinating a follow-up mechanism to monitor the achievements of the commitments made by a number of stakeholders.
  • Facilitating a Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG) to the Summit. This group works to ensure the active support and involvement in the Summit by a broad range of civil society organisations and foundations.
  • Providing a platform for an exchange of information and good practices to those who made commitments, and also new actors
  • Facilitating engagement with organisations of persons with disabilities and ensuring a strong voice of persons with disabilities
  • Providing substantive inputs and coordination of the organization of the Global Disability Summits. 
  • Publishing annual reports to monitor the implementation of the commitments and check-in with stakeholders on how they're getting on with their commitments. Check out our 2020 Report.
  • Delivering a number of national consultations to assess progress made against national commitments adopted in 2018, discuss thematic priorities, and plan events, discussions, and training for the run-up to the main GDS event in Norway in February 2022.

Meet the Team

Picture of Jose Viera, Senior Manager of the GDS SecretariatJose Viera, GDS Manager 

José Viera previously worked as the Chief Executive Officer of the World Blind Union. He has also acted as the Permanent Representative of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities. Previously, he was the WBU Human Rights Policy Advisor for two years, supporting more than 100 different national associations of the blind in advocacy work to promote inclusive and productive lives of blind people. Jose has a Master’s degree in Management of Development from Torino University, Italy, and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. For the past 10 years, he has also worked part-time as Associate Professor of the International Relations Department at the Siglo 21 University, in Cordoba Argentina. Jose is currently based in Toronto, Canada, and can be reached at:

Picture of Greta Gamberini, GDS OfficerGreta Gamberini, GDS Senior Officer

Greta joined IDA in September 2021. Greta previously worked for IDA as a consultant to support the launch of the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. Greta holds a Master's Degree in Law, from LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, and she has attended summer schools and training courses on humanitarian action and development while living in New York City. A passionate professional dedicated to disability inclusion and mainstreaming, Greta has experience in both humanitarian and development sectors, covering research, policy, and advocacy roles. Greta is based in Spain, and can be reached at: