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Towards Inclusive Cities: Experts discuss online the situation of persons with disabilities and older persons

Webinar, 25 May 2020

‘The World Blind Union (WBU) appreciates the initiative by UN-Habitat to engage experts, such as organized constituencies of persons with disabilities, to generate learning and actionable recommendations critical for UN-Habitat to accelerate mainstreaming throughout its operations, programmes and UN inter-agency coordination to create more inclusive cities’ says Hannes Juhlin Lagrelius, WBU Program Officer and Co-Chair of the General Assembly of Partners-Partner Constituent Groups of Persons with Disabilities.​ Read more​

World Urban Forum 10: A critical milestone for engaging persons with disabilities to achieve cities for all

The Tenth World Urban Forum (WUF 10), focused on the theme ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation,’ and called for united action to ensure a better future for cities and towns. WBU, DPO partners and the DIAUD Network contributed to the outcome document, known as The Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, which includes actions and commitments towards achieving inclusive and accessible cities. It sets a road map for the next two years and beyond to support realization of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD​). Download full report (Word Document): World Urban Forum 10.


World Urban Forum 10 - Abu Dhabi, UAE (Feb 8-13, 2020)

WBU training session on Inclusive and Accessible Uban Development at the 10th World Urban Forum (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi. Training comprised of Representatives of Organiztions for Persons with Disabilities (DPOs).
  • "This is the first ever training on disability, accessibility and engagement of persons with disabilities at any global urban forum"--- Mr. Hannes Lagrelius​, ​WBU Program Officer, Accessibility in Smart Cities Initiative
WBU side event on "Inclusive and Accessible Cities for All"
Speakers at WBU side event on "Inclusive and AccessibleCities for All: How can well-planned public spaces and smart city technologies bridge the inclusion gap for persons with disabilities and older persons" at the 10th WorldUrbanForum.
  • "Technology is an asset for improving accessibility for persons with disabilities." "Ensuring public procurement that complies to accessibility standard for technology is important for Smart Cities - Risnawati Utami, OHANA Indonesia and CRPD Committee (WBU Delegate at #WUF10) - (2nd Right)
  • "Technology is not the only solution, it is only part of the solution" Katherine Kline, GAP Co-chair Older Persons PCG

WBU Treasurer (in the middle) Mrs. Martine Abel-Williamson presentation at Dialogue on "Frontier Technologies and Innovation for Inclusive, Sustainable & Resilient #SmartCities at 10th #WorldUrbanForum in Abu Dhabi. Download PowerPoint presentation (PDF)martine presentation.pdfmartine presentation.pdf
World Urban Forum Unites Around Inclusive and Accessible Cities 
Abu Dhabi, February 11th, 2020
A special signing ceremony will take place during the World Urban Forum Stakeholders Roundtable on Persons with Disabilities on Monday, 10th February 2020 from 16:30pm to 19:00pm Hall 4, Room A at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development (DCD), the cities of Barcelona and Helsinki, The International Union of Architects, Special Olympics Saudi Arabia, along with local civil society organizations such as Accessible AD and SEDRA join the Cities4All Global (C4All) Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities during the tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10). The ceremony gathers commitments of global leaders to building inclusive and accessible cities for persons with disabilities and older persons. This event unites leaders in human rights, international development, smart cities, as well as in urban planning, policy, and design. Founding cities of this compact include Berlin, New York, Chicago, São Paulo, Rio, and Amman among others. WBU was the first DPO (Disabled Persons Organization) to sign the compact when it was launched in 2018 and are committed to mobilize organizations of persons with disabilities to the community of practice with cities and urban stakeholders. WBU is committed to mobilize our members to ensure their countries sign the compact. We are leading a delegation of persons with disabilities here at the WUF10.  Read full Press Release


Opening session of the World Urban Forum - February 8

The WBU delegation attended the opening session and Women Assembly at the World Urban Forum and shared the following quotes:

  • "I learnt how important it is to mainstream rights of women with disability in the women's movement and Urban development issues"--- Risnawati Utami, OHANA Indonesia
  • "Resilient cities are important for us as women so resources should be put in place to ensure women are part of the new urban agenda. Create practical partnerships that ensure the implementation of the new urban agenda and SDGs belong to us. Strong partnership and Better collaboration with the wider stakeholder groups are critical for implementation of the New Urban Agenda".  "Public sector should create enabling environments for the new urban agenda" ---  Fayel Achieng Odeny, Kenya Association of the Intellectually Handicapped – (KAIH).
  • "Leaving no one and  no space behind​". "A call from the speakers that we need more.... Not just in conferences.... But actually implementing what we are discussing."--- Liz Ombati, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP)
  • "Even though many speakers failed to mention Persons with Disabilities in their presentations at the opening sessions, the Executive Director of UN Habitat acknowledged the need to move forward together without leaving any person, including Persons with Disabilities, or space behind. Persons with Disabilities need to work hard to ensure we influence the agenda at all levels" --- Peter Anomah-Kordie, African Union of the Blind (AFUB)​
  • ​​"New Urban Agenda must ensure gender inclusive cities"​--- Women Assembly 


WBU leads a delegation of persons with disabilities at the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, 6-13 February 2020.

The World Blind Union  is leading a delegation of persons with disabilities at the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi, from 6-13th of February 2020. Prior to the Forum, WBU conducted a two-days training for the delegation focusing on accelerating awareness and advocacy around inclusion and accessibility in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda for Sustainable Urban Development. The delegation includes representatives of organisations of the blind and partially sighted, deaf, persons with intellectual disabilities, psychosocial and physical disabilities from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Colombia, New Zealand and Sweden. They shared the following experiences and expectations: 

Ms. Martine Abel-Williamson, WBU Treasurer, recaps on the 2 days pre-World Urban Forum training of WBU delegation

Abdulmumuni Ujah ”Sulayman” WBU delegate from Joint Association of Persons with Disabilities Nigeria
Abdulmumuni Ujah ”Sulayman, Joint Association of Persons with Disabilities Nigeria

Peter Anomah-Kordie, delegate from AFUB speaks about WBU pre-World Urban Forum training in Abu Dhabi.
Peter Anomah-Kordie from Ghana African Union of the Blind (AFUB)

"Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development is everyone’s responsibility! As the World Urban Forum (WUF 10) is just a few hours to begin, under the theme: ‘Cities of opportunities, Culture and Innovation’, World Blind Union (WBU) has had two day training for its delegation across the world in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The training took the delegates through the introduction of inclusive and accessible urban development and how Persons with Disabilities can engage in the New Urban Agenda as well as how to engage with stakeholders during the forum. 
It is important to note that, this is the first time WBU has officially brought a large delegation to the WUF. After the training. For the world to achieve inclusive and accessible cities, there is need for everyone to get involved. This is possible considering the different stakeholders that WBU has put together to influence decisions during the WUF10. I look forward to a successful forum during the week. Peter Anomah-Kordie​​​​