During day 3, June 12th, of COSP CBM was actively involved in three side events. See — for the side event we co-sponsored. Read below for the other two.
Diane Mulligan and our partner Risna Utami, Risnawati Utami, Chair, Indonesian Consortium for Disability Rights both presented at the side event “Linking Human Rights, Disability and Development.” The event was Co-Sponsored by Human Rights Watch and Light for the World.
Iain Levine, Deputy Executive Director, Program, Human Rights moderated the event and in addition to Diane and Risna, other panellists included:
- Yetnebersh Nigussie, Executive Director, Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development, and Global Ambassador, Light for the World
- Francesca Corbacho, Fellow, Business and Human Rights Division, Human Rights Watch
The event presented an interactive dialogue, including a discussion of concrete strategies for disability-inclusive development policies and was engaging and interesting.
Directly afterward, Diane presented at another side event. This event covered the theme of “European external action – continuing the opportunity to promote the Human Rights of persons with disabilities in the world through development cooperation.” The European Union and European Disability Forum co-sponsored the event and CBM was very grateful to be invited to speak and be involved in this work.
Diane elaborated on the European Union’s external action service with the African Union, which CBM has been supporting in conjunction with the African Decade. Judith van der Veen who is actively involved in this project graciously provided background and detailed information.
Countries in the project include Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Project summary points:
- It has been easy to work with all of the countries in the project
- Malawi and Zambia have had the quickest progress because of coordinated disability groups and strong coalitions, as well as different funding sources
Learning experiences from the project:
- The main partner in the project is the African Decade (with DPOs) and CBM plays a supporting role. This collaboration is going well and CBM is strategically learning from this experience
- It takes time to build trust with some countries in order to collaborate
Challenges of the project:
- The entire structure is a bit slow and bureaucratic and there is a need for a significant lobbying efforts
- The continental DPOs need capacity building to engage at the continental level, but there is a lack of resources at the regional DPO level. Thus there is a need to focus on capacity building of these DPOs.
Diane closed with pearls of wisdom: “Let’s ask for a bigger cake than fight over smaller pieces of the cake.”