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Your Master Guide to the Global Disability Summit 2022

Welcome to your Master Guide to the Global Disability Summit 2022 (GDS22)!

The History Behind the Global Disability Summit

The first Global Disability Summit (GDS18), held in 2018 in London, was a historical moment for disability inclusion and the rights of persons with disabilities. GDS18 generated an unprecedented level of focus on and commitment to disability-inclusive development. World leaders, government officials, civil society, the private sector, the donor community, and organisations of persons with disabilities came together to share experiences, ideas, and aspirations for development and humanitarian work that was more inclusive of persons with disabilities.

171 national governments, multilateral agencies, donors, foundations, private sector, and civil society organisations made 968 individual commitments around the four central themes of the summit, each one intended to strengthen and transform disability inclusion. More than 300 governments and organisations signed the GDS18 Charter for Change, encouraging the focused implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The GDS18 inspired unprecedented engagement and generated commitments to action that will help deliver Agenda 2030’s vision to ‘Leave No One Behind’ (LNOB) as well as existing obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Looking Ahead: About the Global Disability Summit 2022

The International Disability Alliance (IDA), the Government of Norway, and the Government of Ghana will host the second Global Disability Summit (GDS2022) on 16 - 17 February 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure inclusive participation at the Summit, the event will be held on a digital platform.

GDS2022 will mobilise efforts for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the principle of ‘Leave No One Behind’ (LNOB), and building back better and more inclusive with regards to Covid-19. People with disabilities want equality through access and participation. To obtain lasting change at the country level, we seek collaboration with States, multilateral organisations, and civil society. We seek action and we seek the voices of persons with disabilities themselves. GDS2022 offers a concrete mechanism for collecting new, ambitious, and widespread commitments which are critical to achieving real change for persons with disabilities. Its is a mechanism of global efforts, commitments, and activities to address disability inclusion in the world’s poorest countries.

The themes for the GDS2022 are:

1. Capacity-strengthening of organisations of persons with disabilities in the Global South
2. Inclusive Education
3. Inclusive Health
4. Inclusive Employment and Livelihoods
5. Inclusion in situations of crises and conflict, including a focus on climate change.
Cross-cutting theme: Gender

  • You can download a preliminary program for GDS22 here.
  • You can register here.

GDS2022 Menu of Commitments 

We expect the Summit to lead to concrete political commitments that will bring about genuine change for persons with disabilities, tackle inequalities, foster inclusive development, and humanitarian action, guided by a human-rights approach.

The suggested commitments were developed in consultation with the Global Action on Disability Network (GLAD), disability experts including Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs), and are meant to inform, inspire and incentivize ambitious commitments contributing to a successful GDS. The suggested commitments range from overarching commitments to specific thematic commitments. The menu is comprehensive, but all-important matters are not covered in the menu. Each commitment is accompanied by an explanatory text of proposed actions.

The Global Disability Summit mechanism invites all stakeholders to make commitments around a number of central themes.

Thank you for your interest in submitting a new commitment for GDS2022 or updating a commitment made in 2018! If you are interested in making a commitment but have not yet done so, please contact the GDS Secretariat for more information on how to do so:

Click here to view the Commitments Portal, all commitments made at GDS18, and track their progress.

Global Disability Youth Summit 2022

The GDS Youth Summit will be held online on 14 February 2022. IDA, UNICEF, and the Atlas Alliance, represented by Youth Mental Health Norway, will co-host this Summit to ensure the inclusion of youth in the Global Disability Summit. All planning and decision making around the Summit are being led by youth with disabilities, including through the design of a novel format to ensure the participation of youth from around the globe, from local to global.

  • You can download GDS Youth Summit 2022 agenda here.
  • You can register for the Youth Summit 2022 here.
  • To learn more about the Youth Summit, click here.
  • You can download a concept note for the GDS Youth in word format here.
  • You can download a save the date in English here and in Spanish here.

GDS2022 Civil Society Forum 

The Civil Society Forum on 15 February 2022 will be are an opportunity to amplify the voice and participation of persons with disabilities, through their individual participation and that of representative organisations (OPDs). 

  • You can download a provisional agenda for the Civil Society Forum 2022 here.
  • You can register for the Civil Society Forum 2022 here.
  • Click here to learn more about the Civil Society Forum 2022.

GDS2022 Regional Summits & Roundtables

The GDS Regional Summits & Roundtables aim to entrench the GDS Mechanism at the regional level and mobilise efforts for regional commitments. All Regional Summits will be organised in the week leading up to the GDS2022, between 8 and 18 February 2022. All organisers of Regional Satellite Summits will be invited to prepare a statement to be read at the GDS. 

You can find all Regional Summits & Roundtables here.

GDS2022 Side Events 

Side events are open to all organisations committing to a more inclusive society for persons with disabilities. Over 90 side events will be held on a variety of topics.

You can find all about Side Events here.

GDS2022 Past Events

Have you missed some of the Global Disability Summit 2022 (GDS22) events?

You can find all Information about GDS22 Past Events here.

Commit to Change Campaign

The Summit, hosted by the governments of Norway and Ghana and the International Disability Alliance (IDA), could be a game-changing moment for progress on building a disability-inclusive future. But to realise this vision, governments, policy-makers and organisations around the world need to Commit to Change and come together to create a more inclusive society.

Everyone can play a part to help influence decision-makers and raise awareness of disability inclusion by using our #CommitToChange Social Media Toolkit which includes a selection of template posts and materials. 

Click here to find out more about Commit to Change.