Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW) recently held a press conference to unveil the programme for the inaugural Doha International Conference on Disability and Development (DICDD), taking place on 7-8 December 2019 at Qatar National Convention Centre.

The international conference is organised under the patronage of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder of QFSW, to highlight and address the issues and challenges faced by persons with disabilities, which affect more than 1.5 billion people around the world. DICDD will review major global experiences that have helped in overcoming such obstacles and invest in the integration and intersection of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in order to adopt a global advocacy plan.

QFSW CEO Amal Abdullatif Al Mannai
QFSW CEO Amal Abdullatif Al Mannai

The conference will be co-organised by persons with disabilities, and will be the first international conference to address the sustainable development of society and human rights in relation to disability. DICDD will culminate with the announcement of the ‘Doha Declaration’, which will become a core reference point internationally for policy development, advancing human rights and sustainable social development in the context of disability for persons with disabilities.

QFSW CEO Amal Abdullatif Al Mannai the inauguaral DICDD is a vital initiative for achieving tangible and lasting changes to lives of people with disabilities, not only in Qatar and the Middle East, but across the world.

The conference will attract wide international attention and will feature high-level representatives from the United Nations, international and regional organisations, as well as representatives of civil society, government and the private sector.’

She said that DICDD represents Qatar’s continuous efforts in supporting persons with disabilities by establishing specialised centres to meet their needs across the country. It also aligns with QNV2030, the National Development Strategy, the National Autism Plan, and other disability-related efforts.

Sustainable international progress can only be achieved through the formulation of new standards to ensure that the international community can promote to the fullest extent, one of the most critical policy opportunities of the 21st century.

We look forward to welcoming our distinguished speakers and participants to the QNCC next month.’

Workshops with international experts In the lead-up to the conference, QFSW is also organising a series of workshops on strategies for data collection and analysis, disability policies, assistive technologies, empowerment of women and girls with disabilities, and international cooperation on disability.

Activities on the sidelines of the conference An accompanying exhibition will be held on the sidelines of the conference to showcase local initiatives, projects, and assistive- technologies that are strengthening the development of persons with disabilities.

Expected local partners of the conference include: Qatar Airways, Mada Assistive Technology, Exxon Mobil, Al Shafallah Center, Al Noor Institute for the Blind, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Cultural Village Foundation-Katara, Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar National Tourism Council, and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.

Panel discussions During the conference, panel discussions will explore the commitments that countries should adhere to, in order to put on mainstream the rights-based approach to disability, and to advance the rights, perspectives and well-being of persons with disabilities. Discussions will revolve around the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and how to maximise the benefits from these in various fields, such as education, recruitment, kids, health and entertainment.

Twenty years of Al Shafallah Center DICDD will also mark the 20th anniversary of Al Shafallah Centre. The centre was founded by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser for people with disability to provide an example of educational and rehabilitation services to persons with mental disability and autism under 21 years old. The conference emphasises the efforts done by Qatar in paying attention to the rights of this group not only at the national level but also on a global scale.

The second national development strategy (2018-2022) is witnessing significant improvement in the integration of persons with disabilities compared to the first national development strategy (2011-2016). Qatar places great importance on the rights of disabled persons. A social rather than a medical model for disability is gradually evolving to meet the QNV2030 aspirations for social justice and inclusion.

Individuals interested to attend the conference can register via dicdd.qa.  

Related Link:
https://www.marhaba.qa/event/doha-international-conference-on-disability-and-development/