Two years of EDF chairing the International Disability Alliance

2 July 2014

EDF is a proud founding member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, has been the first elected chair of its governing body over a mandate of the last two years. During this period, EDF together with the rest 11 regional and global organisations proudly followed the whole development of IDA, as a collective success, from an informal alliance to a real organisation, which is now able to influence the political action at international level.

IDA became a legal entity in June 2013 as a historic decision that further strengthened the organisation, its members and the protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities worldwide. IDA is a democratic organisation, whose chair is selected through elections for a mandate of 2 years. Starting as an alliance of 5 global organisations of persons with disabilities in 1999, IDA has now become a strong organisation that has expanded its membership to 12 both global and regional organisations.

Apart from the internal strengthening of the organsiation, this period was also devoted to ensure unity and recognition of the voice of persons with disabilities in the global community and especially towards the UN system. Particular attention was paid to bring the voice of persons with disabilities from the global south with a major event that took place in Kenya in March 2014 together with the African movement of persons with disabilities.

The voice of IDA in the negotiations of the post 2015 development framework has been also particularly strong during this period.

EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, was the Chair of IDA for the last two years, while EDF was represented also by its Executive members, Pat Clarke and Pekka Tuominen.

ldquo;In 2012, IDA was an informal coalition of global and regional organisations. In 2014, EDF is delivering IDA as a strong, legally incorporated organisation which unites the voices of 1 billion persons with disabilities worldwide, when it comes to decisions concerning their lives”, highlights Yannis Vardakastanis, who will now hold the position of IDA’s treasurer.

The new chair of IDA for the next 2 years will be Maryanne Diamond from the World Blind Union.

EDF will continue providing administrative support to IDA and being an active member of it remaining confident that IDA will continue bringing the rights of persons with disabilities worldwide in the forefront.

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