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Civil Society Forum - GDS18

In consultation with civil society partners, the International Disability Alliance (IDA) called for the Civil Society Forum, as an addition to the Summit, to leverage the opportunity to amplify the voice and participation of persons with disabilities.

The Forum is an opportunity to highlight current issues relevant to the global disability movement and the realization of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which will not specifically be addressed at the Summit. The intention is not to duplicate the points that will be made at the Summit, rather to provide additional space for Civil Society to make its own contribution to the Summit. The Forum will also set the stage for the more specific dialogues at the Summit on the specific thematic areas. 

The Forum will take place Monday, 23 July 2018, one day before the Global Disability Summit in the same venue. All attendees of the Summit are encouraged to attend the Forum as the discussions will influence the overall outcomes of the event.

The Civil Society Forum will ensure the participation of the most marginalized groups, as well as priority, will be given to featuring partnerships between different stakeholders. A key feature of the Summit will look at exploring intersectionality with other human rights movements.

Speakers of the closing session of the civil society forum 2018

The Civil Society Forum will strive to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To heighten attention to the importance of actively involving persons with disabilities, and their families through their representative organizations, in the development and implementation of legislation, policies, and programmes to implement the CRPD, as well as in all decision-making processes that affect their lives and full participation and inclusion in society.
  2. To provide a platform for Civil Society to influence the outcomes of the Summit through a unified statement that will be read during the opening of the Summit on behalf of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. The Statement will be heavily influenced by the proceedings at the Forum and online consultations in advance of the Forum. 
  3. To provide an opportunity for people with disabilities, their representative organisations, and other actors working in support of disability inclusion, to engage with each other and with other stakeholders who will attend the Summit, to develop new relationships, partnerships, and Summit commitments.
  4. In line with the spirit of Article 4 (3) of the CRPD, the organization of the Forum by IDA and the Civil Society Reference Group will seek to ensure the voices of persons with disabilities are raised and the panel composition duly include mainly representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities of all constituencies based on parity, including those more marginalized such as, but not limited to, women with disabilities, persons with psychosocial disabilities, persons with intellectual disabilities, deaf-blind persons, etc.  

The Forum will be used as an opportunity for Civil Society to share and capture what civil society sees as most important to inform the outcomes of the overall Summit. The discussions will also inform the Statement that will be read out by the International Disability Alliance, on behalf of Civil Society during the Opening of the Global Disability Summit day on 24 July.


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