On Tuesday 24th June, several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) participated in the photo event launched by the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) as a follow-up to its European Elections Statement. This gathering was an opportunity to remind MEPs of their political commitment towards disability inclusive policies and create bridges for future constructive dialogue and collaborations.

Before the European Elections, this Statement reached the support of more than 80 MEPs and candidates from more than 10 countries, more than 50 of whom were re-elected last May.

During this short meeting, the MEPs we met showed real interest, and highlighted again their personal commitment, and the commitment of the European Union for the rights of persons with disabilities — including in development.

The ratification by the EU of the UN Convention the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2011, and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 are instances of this commitment, which were backed by several reports from the European Parliament during the last couple of years. However, it is crucial that the same political commitment from the Parliament is kept as the upcoming months and years will hammer out the new international development agenda. In fact, the inclusion of persons with disabilities in this agenda is of paramount importance in order to create a sustainable Post-2015 Framework that will efficiently tackle poverty, fight inequalities and promote equity. The European Union, as one of the major stakeholders in these negotiations, and the European Parliament, as a direct representative of European citizens, has the responsibility to provide a voice for the 15% of the world population living with a disability.

The establishment of 2015 as the European Year for Development also represents a key moment to raise awareness amongst EU citizens and national Parliaments about the need for development to promote respect for human rights, equal opportunities for all, and inclusion in all domains.

The collaboration between IDDC and the European Parliament, established and strengthened through this Statement, will undoubtedly serve as a basis for future collaboration and joint actions. IDDC and its members will be delighted to offer their expertise on disability inclusive development to the newly elected Members of the European Parliament and their staff, in a view to promote a society based on the values which are the core of the European Union.

In the upcoming months, IDDC will also actively advocate to ensure that the new European Commissioners and their staff are committed to the inclusion of the most marginalised, such as persons with disabilities, as well as to the strengthening of EU’s external policies that are in line with the obligations of the CRPD. 

For more information, please contact:

François Carbonez f.carbonez@light-for-the-world.org

Alba Gonzalez alba.gonzalez@cbm.org

Source Article from IDDC

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