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Doha gears up to host International Conference on Disability and Development

03 December 2019
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  • QFSW concludes workshops ahead of Conference on Disability and Development
  • Hundreds of experts from private and government took part in 20 interactive sessions


The Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW) concluded a series of workshops leading up to the inaugural Doha International Conference on Disability and Development (DICDD), sponsored by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, founder of Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW), on December 7-8 at the Qatar National Convention Centre.


The aim of the DICDD is to highlight and address the issues and challenges faced by people with disabilities, which affect more than 1. 5 billion people worldwide.


The DICDD will culminate in the announcement of the "Doha Declaration," which will become a key international reference point for policy development and the advancement of human rights and sustainable social development for persons with disabilities.


The DICDD will take place under the theme "Leaving no one behind" and will be organised by the QFSW in collaboration with local and international partners.


More than 20 sessions were held at the workshop, which included the participation of Amal bint Abdullatif al Mannai, CEO of QFSW, and hundreds of experts from universities and ministries, private organisations and centres related to persons with disabilities.


The sessions discussed important topics such as: data collection and analysis strategies, disability policies, assistive technologies, empowerment of women and girls with disabilities, and international cooperation on disability.


The first workshop titled “Private Sector Synergy” was attended by more than 50 experts from government and private organisations. The session concluded in developing a comprehensive database for people with disabilities that should be updated regularly. The session also shed light on developing an awareness platform that describes disability cases and strengthening social responsibility for people with disabilities. The session is also an opportunity for policy makers to take advantage of the statistical database on disabled persons.


The second workshop focused on “Assistive Technology” and its role for people with disabilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This workshop represented a strong belief that technology is effective for people with disabilities and encourages their participation in society. This is particularly important as Qatar is a leading country in the region for technology. Sixty experts participated in this assistive technology workshop and concluded with recommendations to ensure that there are opportunities for people with disabilities to benefit from assistive technologies. The recommendations included:


  • Take strong initiatives towards a research document on assistive technology.
  • Adopt policies towards assistive technology and to enhance media role in spreading awareness on the role of technology for people with disabilities.
  • Generalise the use of assistive technology tools for people with disabilities in all environments or places.


As for the theme of the conference. "Leaving no one behind," the third workshop titled "Gender equality and empowering women and girls with disabilities" focused on empowering women and girls with disabilities to participate in social activities. Eighty private and government experts participated in the session and the recommendations included:


  • Implement essential measures to ensure that women and girls enjoy equality and freedom in accordance with UN standards.
  • Allow women and girls to participate in the drafting of their policies and programmes.
  • Encourage the media to convey a positive picture of women and girls with disabilities.
  • Enhance opportunities to promote gender equality.
  • Benefit from human resources and financial services to improve services. Work to build the capacity of women with disabilities.


The fourth workshop focused on the objectives of international cooperation and sustainable development for people with disabilities. The workshop discussed the importance of international human rights collaborations for people with disabilities that are aligned with sustainable development. The session also discussed the opportunities and challenges related to the development of international collaborations to serve people with disabilities. More than 60 experts participated in this session which concluded with the following recommendations:


  • Emphasis on the importance of implementing a clear plan to include disability issues in its sustainable programmes through international cooperation.
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with disability issues.
  • The importance of identifying the obstacles that will result in lack of international collaboration.
  • Emphasis on the importance of achieving mutual aims in relation to international collaboration and following up with organisations to include people with disabilities on a local, regional and international level.
  • Prioritize the development of specific programmes that are related to international collaboration strategy.


The fifth workshop was titled “Participation of the private sector in Disability Sustainable Development in Qatar”. The session focused on the importance of collaboration between government, private sector and social organisations with the participation of business leaders. The workshop also provided the framework to support human rights and sustainable development goals for people with disabilities. The session shed light on:


  • Private sector commitment to support people with disabilities through initiatives in relation to enhancing employment opportunities.
  • Facilitate training and educational sessions.
  • Help persons with disabilities get loans to start-up businesses.


Commenting on the series of workshops, Mrs. Amal Al-Mannai, CEO of QFSW, said; “It took us a long time to prepare for this conference and among these preparations were the five workshops that we organised with the participation of hundreds of experts. We carefully chose the topics of the workshops to complement the theme of the conference and to enrich its outcomes. We hope that the conference will garner international support from different countries for people with disabilities and that the announcement of the Doha Declaration will act as a roadmap for countries to follow to enhance their people with disabilities.”


The conference is organised by QFSW in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA); as well as the Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs (ADLSA), Qatar Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA), Doha International Family Institute (DIFI).


The conference will feature several distinguished speakers including HE Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Deputy Secretary General of the UN; Xavier Torres, Advisor of the Presidential Government of Ecuador; and Edward Ndopu, United Nations Secretary-General's Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).


Those interested in attending the Doha International Conference on Disability and Development will be able to check the full agenda and register via the website: