Leaders and change makers need to empower at the grassroots with knowledge and tools: Javed Abidi.
In the last few years, it has been well-known that disability is not only a cross-cutting human rights issue but also a developmental issue. In 2015, The World Bank estimated that 20 % of the world's poorest people are disabled, and tend to be regarded in their own communities as the most disadvantaged. It is amidst this backdrop that the 9th World Assembly will be held in April this year and will focus on 'Building Human Capital: Realizing SDGs for Persons with Disabilities'.In September 2015, world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a plan of action titled 'Transforming our world – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', which is about 'People, Planet, and Prosperity'. One of the ambitious global goals under this is to end poverty and hunger in all their forms, ensure healthy lives and promote well-being in all ages and build inclusive societies especially for the world's largest minority – people with disabilities. "One in every seven person in the world lives with a disability. Of this, one billion people, as many as 800 million live in the countries of the Global South. With the world facing an ageing population, this population is only likely to grow. The World Bank estimates that 20% of the world's poorest are people with disabilities," says Javed Abidi, Global Chairman, DPI.
Another estimate by the World Bank puts the cost of exclusion of people with disabilities from the workplace between 3-7 % of a country's GDP. These stark figures therefore, indicate that Agenda 2030 will not be realized unless people with disabilities are an intrinsic part of this journey. "It is widely acknowledged that the focus for implementation of Agenda 2030 will be local. Therefore, it is essential that leaders and change makers at the grassroots are empowered with knowledge and tools to ensure that they are able to advocate for inclusion of disability in their country's national development priorities, and also monitor implementation," he added.
Established in 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons,
Disabled People's International (DPI) was the world's first successful cross-disability endeavor to convert the talk about full and equal participation of persons with disabilities into action. Till today, 30 years after it was formed, DPI continues to be the world's ONLY cross-disability Global Disabled People's Organization (DPO). DPI is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and has a presence in more than 150 countries through its Member National Assemblies (MNAs) spanning across seven regions.