NEWS: Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum Founded

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ghulam Nabi Nizamani has asked that people circulate the following press release.


Press Release

A New Voice Shouts to the Commonwealth –
Nothing About us Without Us.

Disabled youth and adult people from 16 Commonwealth countries came together from 15-17 March, 2008 in London to launch a unique Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (1), the purposes of which will be to provide a link between disabled people’s organisations in all Commonwealth countries and all the political structures of the Commonwealth.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2007 the civil society challenge to CHOGM was to mainstream disability in sustainable development, to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and to adopt disability inclusive policies. This cannot be achieved without a strong, democratic forum of disabled youth and adults to ensure implementation.

We had a vibrant and dynamic series of meetings to consolidate the vision, constitution and activities of the Forum (2). The youth met separately to devise their own creative methods of self representation and organisation. We came together in a final agreement of how to go forward together. It is essential that the voice of young disabled people is heard clearly in the work of the CDPF. They are the future leaders and builders of our shared vision of a Commonwealth built on equality, human rights and respect for diversity.

The major focus of our work in the next two years, including a major conference before CHOGM in 2009, will be to ensure that Commonwealth countries sign, ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. As Rachel Kachaje said at the Launch of the CDPF, hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation at Marlborough House,
‘Disabled people see that hope springs out of the convention – hope for a new, inclusive world where disabled people can be seen as fully human’

We, All Sanghar Handicaps’ Association Pakistan are very proud to have part of this exciting new beginning and look forward to working with our disabled colleagues to ensure our full inclusion in all the nations of our shared Commonwealth.

For further information contact:
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
South Asia /South East Asia Regional Representative
Bakhoro Road Sanghar-68100, Pakistan. (3)
Ph # +92-333-2916281
Email: (4)

(1) This meeting was funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and ADD.
(2) Officers elected were: Chair: James Mwanda (Uganda), Vice Chair: George Daniel (Tinidad & Tobago), Secretary: Javed Abidi (India), Treasurer: Richard Rieser (UK), Women’s Representative: Rachel Kachaje, (Malawi) Youth Representatives: Laura Kanusu (Uganda)
George Kasara (Kenya), Regional Representatives: Ghulam Nabi Nizaamani (Pakistan), Lesley Emmanuel (Antigua), Setareki Macanawai (Fiji), Steve Estey (Canada) Thomas Ongolo (South Africa).
(3) The registered office of the CDPF will be in India and there will be a liaison office in the UK to work directly with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Foundation.
(4) This email address can be changed after website of CDPF.

In addition to the above press release, Ghulam Nabi Nizamani also made the following note in mid March:

The following countries from South Asia and South East Asia are member countries of Commonwealth. These Countries are invited to submit application for Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (CDPF) Country Focal Point.
Brunei Darussalam
Sri Lanka

The Organization must be National Level Organization in respective country if in any country there will be no National Organization we will support to encourage to estabilish National organization in that country. Please also send establishment date of Organization, Network in the Country, Some credible work done in past. Please send information by mail or email before the first week of April 2008.

Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
Regional Representative CDPF
South and South East Asia

Note: We have no contact from Brunei Darussalam please help us for finding National organization there.

Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for sharing the above press release. Any inquiries should please be emailed to him directly at

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Commonwealth Disabled People’s Conference (Uganda, November 2007)

Posted on 19 August 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Commonwealth Nations, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , |

Edited Nov 22 ’07 to add this paragraph: This conference is now over. The conference participants issued a memorandum which has been posted at

This conference announcement was recently brought to my attention; for people interested in disability rights and the political, economic, and human development of disabled people in the commonwealth countries:

Date: August 14, 2007 9:09:52 AM EDT

Dear all,
Greetings from the deaf community in Uganda.
This is to bring to your attention the impending Commonwealth Disabled People’s Conference (DPC), 2007.
The conference will take place from 14th to 17th November in Kampala, Uganda – East Africa at Hotel Africana.
Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) in Uganda, in conjunction with Action on Disability and Development (ADD), an International non-government organization, have realized the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that is going to take place in Uganda from 23rd to 25th November, 2007, under the theme: “Transforming Commonwealth Societies to achieve political, economic and human development” is a great opportunity for the disability fraternity in common wealth countries as it comes in the wake of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. The CHOGM offers the opportunity to influence heads of governments and to initiate collective action for its ratification and implementation.
Uganda is currently one of the leading countries in legislations and policies that cater for the rights of PWDs. Its pertinent that Kampala CHOGM will initiate the inclusion of disability on the commonwealth agenda making it a part of the commonwealth member states programs.
The commonwealth has 52 member states. The commonwealth has two components – the official and unofficial components. The official component consists of a series of official inter-governmental meetings. The unofficial component is made up of programs by Civil Society Organizations.
The Disabled People’s Conference (DPC). The first ever of its kind in liaison with CHOGM will be held just before the Commonwealth People’s Forum and the CHOGM with a view of making disability a part of the commonwealth agenda.
The theme of the conference is: “Promoting Disability Rights: the inclusive way of transforming commonwealth countries to achieve political, economic and human development”.
The conference is aimed at bringing leaders of the disabled in the commonwealth with a view to:
1 Influence heads of states and commonwealth governments to incorporate disability issues in their national programs.
2 Raising CHOGM awareness about the Convention on the Rights of the Disabled persons and the need for its ratification and implementation.
3 Creating an understanding that poverty cannot be eradicated in the commonwealth countries unless disabled people are explicitly included in country development strategies.
4 Establishing a forum foe disabled people in the commonwealth as a continuing feature of the commonwealth family.
The purpose of this communication therefore is to request you to participate in this conference as a one sure way of uplifting the status of the disabled people in the commonwealth and the rest of the world.
Alternatively, your support to this event will be highly appreciated.
Waiting for your positive response.
Thank you.
Conference Organizing Committee
Representative for the Deaf persons.
Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD)
P.O.Box 7339,
Kampala, Uganda
East Africa.

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