2019 GLAD Network Annual Meeting

The Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network held its third meeting in Ottawa, Canada, with a focus on enhancing the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development and humanitarian action.

The GLAD Network was chaired by the permanent co-chair, the International Disability Alliance (IDA) , along with the two rotating co-chairs, the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)  and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The meeting, hosted by Global Affairs Canada, along with IDA Members Inclusion International and the World Blind Union, further developed our shared commitment to disability inclusive development and humanitarian action in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

Connie Laurin-Bowie, Executive Director of Inclusion International, underlined the importance of including a gender focus when we talk about the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international development and humanitarian action; “Inclusion International’s global network knows how important a feminist foreign policy agenda is for addressing the exclusion of women and girls with intellectual disabilities and the disproportionate caregiving role that falls on mothers.”

The network discussed how to implement our disability inclusive commitments, in particular through meaningful engagement with Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (DPOs), and how we can hold ourselves to account. It also tracked progress against the GLAD Strategic Plan 2018-2020 and discussed ways of increasing GLAD Network’s collective influencing power to enhance the inclusion of persons with disabilities globally.

During the event, participants also reviewed areas for improvement and reflection on the implications to disability inclusion with regard to gender, intersectionality, and inclusion.

Since its inception, the GLAD Network has steadily grown, attracting the largest donors and agencies in the work and development of the rights of persons with disabilities internationally, including many of the agencies of the United Nations.