ESCWA organized a side event on the sidelines of the 14th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP14) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) under the title of: “Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Pandemics and Crises". ESCWA held the side event in collaboration with the League of Arab States (Social Affairs Sector), Kuwait’s Ministry of Social Affairs, and the Arab Organization for Persons with Disabilities (AOPD).
In addition to the remarks of the organizations, the side event brought together high-level speakers who affirmed their political commitment to ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities during crises, including ministers of social affairs from the UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon. In addition to interventions from Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), AOPD, Union of Arab Chambers, the Special Envoy of the SG on Disability and Accessibility, International Disability Alliance, UNFPA and WHO.
The side event provided an opportunity to discuss the need to establish a collaborative approach to protect the rights of persons with disabilities during armed conflicts and humanitarian emergencies and identify existing gaps and challenges in this regard. Also, to share lessons learned, best experiences and good practices in the Arab Region and around the globe on how best persons with disabilities could be supported during armed conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, including Covid-19 pandemic and ways to improve the preparedness and responses of the Arab region in a similar crisis in the future.