Declaration of relaunch conference, 13th June 2019

Declaration from the newly re-launched Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum

We, the delegates of 27 Commonwealth Countries, being representative Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), attending the re-launch of the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum, applaud the adoption of a constitution, work programme and newly elected Executive Committee on 13th June 2019 in New York.

We recognise much has still to be achieved to create equality for more than 450 million disabled people throughout the 53 countries of Commonwealth and to achieve the standards set in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In particular, our organisations and countries need core funding, human and technical resources to advise and pressure our governments to fulfil their obligations towards their Disabled citizens.

We call on the international community, bilateral and multilateral donors and our Governments to adequately fund us in carrying out our role as Representative DPOs in line with Article 4 and 33 of the UNCRPD.

We are committed to improving the position of disabled people across the Commonwealth by adopting the following priorities.

Priorities for Work of Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum (CDPF) 2019-2020

  1. The recruitment and active engagement of Disabled People’s Organisations across all Commonwealth Countries in the CDPF.
  2. To continue to support the full ratification and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other legally binding treaties in all Commonwealth Countries.
  3. To challenge the continuing inequalities and exclusion that disabled people face throughout the Commonwealth in all areas of life. Specifically, by developing inclusive education, employment opportunities – economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, equality of livelihood, assistance in humanitarian situations, gender equality and the provision of assistive technology. To challenge stigma, discrimination and other intersectional oppressions which lead to negative attitudes, stereotypes and inequality.
  4. To develop the capacity of DPOs at local, regional and national levels in each country, to understand the principles of disability equality, the requirements of the UNCRPD and SDGs, the requirements and practices of running representative DPOs, and methods for effectively influencing Government policies for Disabled People, shadow reporting and monitoring.
  5. To develop National Umbrella cross impairment organisations of Disabled People which are widely geographically based and inclusive of different impairments.
  6. To support, develop and promote leadership amongst young disabled people.

To achieve the above we will:

  • Encourage and support North-South and South-South Collaboration of DPOs
  • Promote the Social Model and Human Rights Approach to Disability Equality,  provide and facilitate training on these
  • Share good practice and information
  • Work with Governments, funders and donors to fund DPO projects to capacity build to implement the UNCRPD, Sustainable Development Goals and other initiatives
  • Capacity Building by developing strong representative National DPOs of cross impairment groups, which are gender responsive and reach disabled people in all areas, across each country
  • Develop the capability to gather data, research and monitor programmes and spread effective good practices
  • Encourage disabled women’s and girls’ self-organisation and to make our DPOs habitable to women
  • Work for the inclusion of disabled youth and other under-represented groups and people of all ages in our organisations
  • Encourage representation on global, regional and national bodies and work with UN Development organisations, other international agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations.