Thursday, 21 June 2007

Millennium development goals: inclusion of people with disabilities

Information provided by Zuzana Basistova, eRko, Slovakia

The international conference on the "Millennium development goals (MDGs): inclusion of people with disabilitieswas" was organized by eRko-Slovakia within the project “Disability Mainstreaming in Development Cooperation” in which the Austrian organization “Light for the World” has the project lead. The project is supported by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

About 80 participants gathered in Senec (Slovakia) - a small town nearby Bratislava - on May 14-15. They represented DPOs (Disabled People Organisations), NGDOs, the World Bank, UNDP and the policy sector from at least 23 countries, mostly from Europe. Speakers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa were invited for the conference to give a better description and practical experience of the impact of MDG and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in developing countries.

The status and situation of persons with disabilities in developing countries vis-a-vis the MDGs was evaluated during the conference. Participants in the workshops identified the existing weaknesses as well as strengths in the process of the MDGs as it concerns disability and produced action points on what needs to be done and develop ideas how inclusion should link into activities already under way.

A practical example of inclusion of children with disabilities into “normal” life was given at the end of the first conference day by the dance performance of the “Madovec”-ensemble composed by deaf children from a boarding school in Bratislava. Also the talks and discussions during the Bazaar section of the conference were very inspiring and participants definitely took a lot of news, inspiration and ideas back to their countries.

For more outcomes of the conference, presentations of speakers, photos and other documents visit the website: or contact project coordinator: Isabelle Wahedova, Email:

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