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Doha Declaration calls for steps to empower people with disabilities

Tribune News Network
Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW) has launched the “Doha Declaration” at the closing ceremony of the Doha International Conference on Disability and Development (DICDD). The two-day conference, which attracted more than 1,500 policymakers and practitioners, took place at the Qatar National Convention Center under the theme: “Leaving No One Behind”.
The Doha Declaration on disability and development sets out an action-oriented approach that Qatar hopes will be an international reference point for world governments to integrate the rights of persons with disabilities into their national development plans. The aim is to ensure the needs of persons with disabilities are included in policies related to education, health, employment, and other relevant areas.
The declaration stipulates the conferees of DICDD came together in the spirit of the UN Charter to advance peace, justice and human rights for all and especially for the 1.5 billion persons with disabilities in the world.
The declaration called for a rethinking of the disability concepts at all levels, stepping out from the cultural barriers, stigmas and medical approaches towards CRDP definitions ensuring empowerment, comprehensive social wellbeing, belonging, inclusiveness, equality and dignity for all.
Amal Abdullatif al Mannai, CEO of QFSW, said, “The aim of the conference and the Doha Declaration is to leave a long-lasting imprint on international efforts to improve the rights of persons with disabilities. The launch of the Doha Declaration underscores Qatar’s commitment to promoting policies that will ensure persons with disabilities are provided with opportunities for involvement, engagement and contribution in their communities.”
She expressed hope that the outcomes of the conference will support the efforts of the United Nations and be a catalyst for change towards the adoption of policies that promote the rights of persons with disabilities.
“We hope the Doha Declaration will serve as a roadmap for governments, showing that change through a combination of human rights and sustainable development goals is both desirable and achievable,” she added.
The conference highlighted the main issues and challenges facing persons with disabilities. The Doha Declaration was the culmination of two days of discussions on how the UN Sustainable Development Agenda can be fully integrated with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Qatar has a long-standing commitment towards protecting the rights of people with disabilities. In 2006, Qatar supported the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, before signing it in 2008. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Founder of QFSW, also initiated Al Noor Center in 1998 and the Shafallah Center in 1999, establishing the Qatar Social Work Foundation as a civil society organisation under which Al Noor and the Shafallah operate.