Panel Discussion:”Mainstreaming Disability in the Development Agenda”

United Nations Headquarters
12 February 2008

Disability experts from around the world with backgrounds in government, international organizations, and civil society stressed the need to mainstream disability in all development activities in order to achieve equality for persons with disabilities. Panelists highlighted the fact that since persons with disabilities represent such a significant portion of the population, 10%, and are more likely to live in poverty than their peers without disabilities, ensuring that they are integrated into all development activities is essential in order to achieve internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. Recommendations offered by panelists include the need for partnerships between government and civil society (specifically organizations of persons with disabilities), training of the legislative and judiciary branches of government, establishment of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, adaptation of the existing tools for specific environments, and the linking of public policy to the sprit and letter of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as key components of success.


Ms. Rosangela Berman-Bieler – Presentation
Executive Director
Inter-American Institute on Disability & Inclusive Development
New York, U.S.A.

Ms. Venus M. Ilagan
National Project Director, Breaking Barriers for Children (DANIDA project)
Immediate Past Chairperson & Representative for International Relations, Disabled Peoples’ International
Manila, Philippines

Ms. Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo – Presentation
Senior Operations Officer
World Bank
Washington D.C., U.S.A.

Ms. Barbara Murray – Statement
Senior Disability Specialist
International Labour Organization (ILO)
Geneva, Switzerland

Dr. Ronald Wiman – Presentation
Senior Social Development Advisor
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Helsinki, Finland


Ambassador Claude Heller
Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations
New York, U.S.A.