Panel Discussion on the inclusion of disability in development cooperation policy and programming

In conjunction with the 50th session of the Commission for Social Development (Conference Room 5, UN Headquarters, New York, 1.15 – 2.45 p.m., 2 February 2012)


The World Report on Disability estimates that approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population or over one billion people live with some form on disability. The omission of disability in development efforts not only affects persons with disabilities themselves, but also directly impacts the United Nations’ development objective of “development for all”. In recent years, the international community has adopted a series of resolutions through the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that reiterates the urgent need to include disability in the international development agenda, including in international development cooperation. These resolutions call for urgent action to mainstream disability in development, especially in the realization of internationally-agreed development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), for persons with disabilities.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Disability, in his recent report before the Commission for Social Development (E/CN.5/2011/9), also calls for action to mainstream disability in all aspects of the international development agenda including international cooperation. He further encourages sharing of good practices and experience among Member States and other stakeholders, in order to overcome barriers and further advance development that is inclusive of disability and persons with disabilities.

Panel discussion:

The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in collaboration with the Government of Finland and Irish Aid will sponsor this panel discussion to draw attention to key issues concerning the inclusion of disability in development cooperation policy and programming, particularly in the context of ongoing global efforts towards poverty eradication. This panel discussion is part of a recent series of discussions organized by the Department to mainstream disability in all development processes. The panel will also discuss how the United Nations country teams can contribute to strengthen cooperation among all stakeholders at the country level through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) to promote the inclusion of disability in development efforts supported by the United Nations system.

The interactive discussion will highlight successful experiences and good practices, as well as explore options for the road ahead in mainstreaming disability in the global development agenda. The discussions are also expected to contribute to the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development to be held on 23 September 2013.

Moderator: Mr. Shuaib Chalklen, UN Special Rapporteur on Disability

Facilitator: Ms. Akiko Ito, Chief, SCRPD/DESA


  • Prof. Mac MacLachlan , Irish Aid and Trinity College, Dublin
  • Mr. Ronald Wiman, Government of Finland
  • Mr. Wei Meng Xin, China Disabled Persons Federation
  • Ms. Charlotte  Mcclain Nhlapo, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Ms. Maria Veronica Reina, the World Bank/Global Partnership for Disability and Development
  • Mr. Lars Bosselmann, CBM EU Liaison Office, International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC)


Photograph of the panel discussion showing Shuaib Chalklen, Lars Bosselmann, Ronald Wiman, and Professor Mac MacLachlan   Photograph of the panel discussion showing from left to right, Wei Meng Xin, Charlotte McClain Nhalpo, Maria Verionica Reina, Akiko Ito, Shuaib Chalklen, and Lars Bosselmann,