Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) Holds First Membership Meeting

Posted on 26 May 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, News, Opportunities, Poverty, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Washington DC, 9 May 2008

First Membership Meeting of the GPDD in Eschborn, Germany

World leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceania representing civil society organizations, governments, and multilateral agencies including the World Bank and UNESCO unanimously approved a Charter and elected the First Board of Directors for the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD). Meeting at the headquarters and as the guests of the German Technical Corporation (GTZ) in Eschborn, Germany, the assembled agencies and organizations made a core commitment to a world of inclusive communities where individuals with disabilities regardless of age, gender, or type of disability enjoy their rights and have access to opportunities on an equal basis with others.

With a commitment to partnership to combat the social and economic exclusion and impoverishment of people with disabilities and their families in developing countries worldwide, the GPDD represents an unprecedented alliance of agencies, organizations, and resources to accelerate change within and outside of government that targets development activities to include and promote social and economic rights of individuals with disabilities.

Four years of planning by a Coordinating Task Force culminated in the historical formalization of GPDD with the election of the First Board of Directors in Eschborn, Germany, last Wednesday. The 12 members elected to the Board of Directors are:

  • Mr. Khandaker Jahurul Alam, Asia Pacific Disability Forum
  • Ms. Tanya Barron, Leonard Cheshire Disability
  • Mr. A.K. Dube – African Decade Secretariat (Chair of the GPDD Interim Board)
  • Ms. Sangita Gairola, Representative of the Government of India
  • Ms. Celia Siphokazi Gcaza, African CBR Network (CAN)
  • Mr. Kalle Könkkölä, Disabled Peoples’ International
  • Mr. Rudiger Krech, GTZ
  • Ms. Euphrasia Mbewe, World Federation of the Deaf
  • Mr. James Mwandha, Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum
  • Mr. Andreas Pruisken, Christian Blind Mission
  • Ms. Indumathi Rao, CBR Network South Asia
  • Dr. William Rowland, World Blind Union

This unique Global Partnership will bring important world attention to the needs and aspirations of people with disabilities in developing countries. The assembled GPDD members agreed on a beginning plan of action to expand the membership base of GPDD, promote data collection and analysis that identifies more accurately the living conditions of and barriers faced by people with disabilities in developing countries; to facilitate information sharing on effective inclusive development policies and programs; to support the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in cooperation with partners and member organizations; and mobilize resources to build the capacity of the GPDD broad constituency through alliances and networks to become a reliable and effective expert disability and development platform.

With support from the World Bank and the governments of Italy, Finland, and Norway as donors to a Multi Donor Trust Fund, the GPDD will bring much needed attention to reduce poverty and eliminate barriers to full social and and economic participation.

For more information about GPDD and how you may become involved, please contact Maria Reina, Executive Director at

Individuals may also contact Maria Reina ( to inquire about subscribing to the free GPDD listserv.

This announcement is slightly modified from text that Maria Reina recently circulated on the GPDD listserv.

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