MPs and peers, including ministers and frontbench teams, attended a packed parliamentary reception on 16 July to mark the upcoming Global Disability Summit that will be held in London on 24 July.
The event was hosted by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the BOND Disability and Development Group, with support from Sightsavers.
The event highlighted the importance of the Global Disability Summit to parliamentarians – and in particular, its focus on tackling the stigma and discrimination many people with disabilities face around the world.
Attendees at the reception included Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt, who spoke about the importance of inclusion within global development and the potential of the summit to promote this. “The summit is not about the UK preaching to other nations – far from it,” she said. “It’s about us working together, and learning from each other to improve things and address the inequalities that exist for people with disabilities. It’s also about supporting, and inspiring action and tackling stigma.”
Also in attendance were shadow DFID teams and MPs from across the parliamentary parties, as well as a number of prominent peers, including Lord Bates, Lord Blunkett, Lord Low, Lord Shinkwin, Baroness Anelay and Lord Bruce.
Speakers at the event included Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame, Sightsavers’ Advocacy Adviser for Social Inclusion, who was recently elected as a member of the United Nations committee for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She was joined by International Development Minister Alistair Burt and Paralympic wheelchair racer Anne Wafula Strike.
Ahead of the summit, through its Put Us in the Picture campaign, Sightsavers has been calling on parliamentarians to promote disability-inclusive development, and more than 60 have so far shown their support.