COSP17 – Civil Society Forum

Marit Sørheim speaking to the audience at the CSF-CRPD

Against the backdrop of the ongoing humanitarian crises, it is fitting that one of the themes of this year’s COSP, the Conference of the State Parties Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, is disability-inclusive humanitarian action.

The day before the COSP was set to commence, Marit Sørheim, the Executive Director of the Atlas Alliance, made a significant contribution at the Civil Society Forum. In her statement representing the IDDC, the International Disability and Development Consortium, Sørheim stated:  

“We have not seen this many armed conflicts and climate change induced disasters since World War 2. And still pre-crisis discrimination and barriers hinder persons with disabilities access to and meaningful participation in humanitarian response and protection.”

In her statement, Sørheim also talked about the importance of quantity data collection methods, especially regarding the situation for persons with disabilities experiencing humanitarian crises. Sørheim’s statement also underscored the pressing need for advanced coordination and partnerships in the face of the increasing number of crises. OPDs, NGOs, the UN, and donors, must all be involved. This, she emphasized, is crucial to ensure that tools, lessons learned, and disability inclusion expertise are effectively shared and utilized.  

Lastly, Sørheim added the importance of OPDs’ participation in both planning and implementing humanitarian action. As always, the disability movement’s slogan, “Nothing about us without us,” must be at the heart of all action to ensure no one is left behind.  

The Atlas Alliance, together with UNPRPD, Norad, and the Australian Government, are hosting a side event Wednesday afternoon on the topic inclusive strategies in humanitarian response. Make sure to follow UNPRPD’s live tweets from COSP on Twitter/X here.