Working to strengthen the rights of persons with disabilities

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On 16–17 February, the second Global Disability Summit was held in Norway. At the digital Summit, a number of world leaders stated their intention to give greater priority to working to strengthen the rights of persons with disabilities in the years ahead. A total of 1 300 commitments were made by 188 different stakeholders in support of this work.

‘Today, I feel we are part of something important. But it doesn’t stop here. This is just the beginning,’ said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in his opening speech.

The UN Secretary-General, and a number of heads of state and government and government ministers were among the close to 7 000 participants at the Summit. Governments, UN organisations, civil society organisations, organisations of persons with disabilities and businesses committed to working to create a more inclusive society. More commitments were received in Oslo than at the first Global Disability Summit in London in 2018.

Promoting equal rights for all
The second Global Disability Summit was co-hosted by Norway, Ghana and the International Disability Alliance. After two days of speeches, panel discussions, many new commitments and cultural performances from around the world, Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim expressed her confidence that the Summit would lead to lasting change for persons with disabilities. ‘Together we have mobilized broadly and created a movement that started in London and will not end in Oslo,’ she said in her closing remarks.

Ms Tvinnereim has made it clear that the movement must not stop until everyone enjoys the same rights.

Passed the baton to Germany and Jordan
To ensure that the movement continues beyond the Oslo Summit, the Minister of International Development passed on the baton to Germany and Jordan, which will be organising the next Global Disability Summit, in cooperation with the International Disability Alliance, in 2025.

‘I am certain that Germany and Jordan, together with the International Disability Alliance, will continue what we all started in London and have now carried forward in Oslo,’ said Ms Tvinnereim. 

The Summit was opened on 16 February by Prime Minister and co-host Jonas Gahr Støre. UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the other two co-hosts, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President of the International Disability Alliance Yannis Vardakastanis, also participated in the opening session.