From the 11-13 July 2017, IDDC participated in the third Africa – EU Civil Society Forum which took place in Tunis (Tunisia). At this Forum, civil society from different countries and different sectors gathered to discuss the future of the Joint Africa – EU Strategy (JAES), ahead of the Africa-EU Heads of State Summit that will be held in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, on 28-29 November 2017. The outcome of the forum is a joint declaration with specific recommendations for the future partnership, focusing amongst others on human development, decent work and the need to enhance CSOs' participation.
The three members of the IDDC delegation actively participated in the debates and advocated for the inclusion of the rights of persons with disabilities in the final declaration. This was very successful as the declaration stresses the need for universal health coverage and sexual and reproductive health and rights for persons with disabilities, inclusive education and access to the labour market for persons with disabilities. Further the Declaration also emphasises the need to enhance dialogue between governments and CSOs including organisations from persons with disabilities. We can thus clearly say the rights of persons with disabilities are taken into account.
While we now have this strong CSO declaration, the work is not the done yet. In the coming months IDDC will advocate towards the EU institutions. We will share the joint declaration and our own position to make sure the EU promotes and includes the rights of persons with disabilities at the AU – EU Summit in November. Only by including the rights of persons with disabilities in all policies we will achieve a society where truly no one is left behind.
The EU Task Group of IDDC has drafted a position paper with recommendations for an inclusive partnership between Africa and the European Union