29 February: Conference: Inclusive international cooperation: Making it a reality!

Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 08:30
4 hours
Brussels, Belgium

Click here to access the registration form

Livestream available here

Background information

The European Union (EU) is a unique regional organisation, with institutions of considerable power and a high level of integration, including in it is approach to international cooperation. The EU became the first regional organisation to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2011 which means both the EU and its Member States are legally obliged to ensure that development programmes are “(…) inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities” (CRPD, article 32). Within the wider context of the Sustainable Development Goals, which actually include 11 specific references to disability, the EU has huge potential for becoming a key player in promoting disability inclusive development globally. The EU was the biggest global development donor in 2016. Its new draft budget 2021-2027 devotes €92 billion for funding of programmes outside the EU.

About the conference

The European Disability Forum and the International Disability Alliance want to raise awareness on the potential role the EU could play as a global leader in disability inclusive development. We will focus on the advocacy around the next EU budget on international cooperation as well as the tools that now exist to ensure disability-inclusive development.

Objectives of the conference

  1. To advance advocacy on the European budget in international cooperation;
  2. To showcase that inclusive international cooperation is possible, with a number of tools available.


EDF and IDA representatives and members. The conference is open to external participants interested in the topic, such as organisations engaged in international cooperation.


Renaissance hotel

Rue de Parnasse 19,

Brussels, 1050, Belgium


The conference will provide real-time captioning (in English) and international sign.


08:30 - 09:00 Arrival and registration of participants

09:00 - 09:30 Official opening

  • Yannis Vardakastanis, President, European Disability Forum
  • Henriette Geiger, Director, of Directorate People and Peace, International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO)
  • Ana Lucia Arellano, Chair, International Disability Alliance

Facilitator: Thorkild Olesen, Chair of the Disabled Peoples Organisations Denmark (DPOD)

09:30 - 10:30 Making the next EU budget inclusive

  • Cecile Grosjean, EDF independent expert: The work of EDF on the EU international cooperation budget.
  • Johannes Trimmel, President of CONCORD: The work of CONCORD on the EU international cooperation budget and advocacy
  • ** Idriss Alzouma Maiga**, Chair, African Disability Forum

Moderator: Thorkild Olesen, Chair of the Disabled Peoples Organisations Denmark (DPOD)

10:30 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:15 Tools for a strong and inclusive implementation

  • Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame, Member of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Committee: Central role of DPOs in International Cooperation
  • Stefanie Gregorius, Advisor, Global Project Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, German Development Cooperation (GIZ): The work of GIZ to support the GLAD network
  • Facundo Chávez Penillas, Human Rights & Disability Adviser, OHCHR: Globally agreed frameworks and tools - the example of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy
  • Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director, International Disability Alliance: IASC guidelines, Security Council Resolution and Global Disability Summit

Moderator: Ana Peláez Narváez, Vice-President, European Disability Forum, Member of the CEDAW Committee

12:15 - 12:30 Next steps

  • Yannis Vardakastanis, President, European Disability Forum

You can find the agenda at the bottom of this page