Global Disability Summit 2025 Lifting progress on the inclusion of persons with disabilities on the international agenda – HCD hosts first preparatory meeting with co-hosts
The meeting’s opening session began with welcoming remarks from His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein, President of HCD, in which he underscored the significance of the third edition of the GDS being held in cooperation with friends in Germany and IDA. He added that Jordan’s participation in organizing the GDS is testimony of the Kingdom’s regional and international standing in the field of the rights of persons with disabilities, and the seriousness with which the country has regarded this portfolio, most particularly in the last 10 years. His Highness also stressed the need for the 2025 edition of the GDS to be seen as a unique event in both format and content, whereby the summit will leave solid, impactful and lasting impressions on decision- and policy-makers the world over, galvanizing them to create substantial change within their own countries in the field of disability rights.
For his part, State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) indicated in his opening remarks that Germany perceives the 2025 Global Disability Summit as a milestone through which each country and organization can make a real change in the disability arena. He also stated: “Respecting the human dignity and the inclusion of persons with disabilities is a matter of human rights. We are not talking about charity or compassion, which all too often dominate the narrative on disability. There are roughly one billion people in the world who are living with a disability, the majority of them in developing and emerging economies. Their concerns as well as their abilities and capacities to contribute to the success of societies are still far too rarely the focus of attention. Together, we want to boost progress on the inclusion of persons with disabilities internationally.”
In his remarks during the opening session of the workshop, IDA President Yannis Vardakastanis stressed that IDA is looking forward to having yet another successful Summit in Berlin, working together with Germany and Jordan. Vardakastanis is sure that the joint efforts of the co-hosts will create an ever stronger and bigger GDS, and looks forward to leading his organization in being the representative voice of the disability movement, which should remain at the forefront of the planning and delivery of the GDS.
Other German representatives attending the first preparatory meeting included the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Jürgen Dusel, as well as representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. IDA representatives were also present, including IDA’s Executive Director, Vladimir Cuk, and its Advocacy Director, José Viera. On the part of HCD, the meeting was attended by the organization’s Secretary-General, Muhannad Alazzeh, as well as members of the GDS Jordanian organizing committee. Also present was a representative from the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The third edition of the GDS will be held in Berlin, Germany, in Spring 2025.
The first GDS was held in London, in 2018, co-hosted by the Governments of the UK and Kenya, and by IDA, while the second one was held in Oslo, in 2022, and was co-hosted by the Governments of Norway and Ghana, and by IDA.