The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland together with the Abilis Foundation will co-host the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network meeting in Helsinki, Finland, from 31 January to 2 February 2018. More than 90 important international partners and donors engaged in development cooperation and humanitarian aid will gather in Helsinki.
"Finland wants to highlight the rights and the needs of persons with disabilities in the context of humanitarian crises. There has been a dramatic growth in the need for humanitarian assistance in the recent years.
Persons with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by disaster and conflict. They face particular barriers in accessing life-saving assistance and are often exposed to targeted violence and exploitation", says Kai Mykkänen, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, who will open the meeting.
This is the second meeting of the international GLAD Network of donors. Its membership consists of states, representatives of the private sector, foundations, UN agencies and civil society organisations that are committed to promoting the position of persons with disabilities in connection with development cooperation and humanitarian action. The following organisations will be represented in Helsinki: European Commission, UNDP, UNICEF, UN WOMEN, WHO, World Bank, International Committee of the Red Cross and World Federation of the Deaf. Also the Australian Minister for International Development Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, who co-chairs the meeting, will be present.
The network aims to promote the rights of persons with disabilities and the implementation of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), to reduce inequality, and to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are a central part of global sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Helsinki meeting will focus on education, humanitarian action and social security.
For the past three decades, Finland has pioneered in international work aiming to improve the position of persons with disabilities through development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. Finland supports not only the GLAD Network but also other international actors, such and the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD). Finland is the biggest single contributor to this partnership.
Inquiries: Katariina Sario, Senior Adviser for development policy, Unit for Sectoral Policy, tel. +358 50 462 0205.
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