By Francis Flood, Programme and Advocacy Manager at CBM Ireland, and Fiona Coyle, Programme Officer, Dóchas
Vietnamese Delegation to Disability Law Summer School in Galway meets Dóchas Disability and Development Working Group June 2015.
On the 18th June the Dóchas Disability in international Development Working Group (DIDWG) met with a Vietnamese delegation that was en route to the 7th Disability Law Summer School in Galway. This meeting provided a platform for an open exchange of information on issues of disability both in Ireland and internationally.
Globally disability has been gaining recognition as a policy issue in the international development discourse and for the last 10 years much of the work of the DIDWG has focused on advocating for greater recognition of disability within Irelands overseas development programme. From the perspective of the DIDWG the publication of ‘One World, One Future’ – Ireland’s Policy for International Development by Irish Aid / Department of Foreign Affairs in May 2013 marked a significant advance for people with disabilities living in the global south. The policy makes it clear that Ireland considers that the realisation of the rights and potential of people with disabilities is essential if we are to achieve a sustainable and just world. “One World, One Future” commits Ireland to:
Ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) as soon as domestic legal issues have been resolved
Devoting more of its resources to disability, by (i) integrating disability issues into its ongoing work across the entire Irish Aid programme, in line with the UNCRPD, and (ii) by supporting disability-specific initiatives
Redoubling its efforts to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace and in economic activity in developing countries
The working group continues to lobby for the implementation of the above recommendation but the group was heartened to hear that our colleagues from Vietnam were funded through the Irish Aid programme at Country level in Vietnam. This was seen as positive step towards ensuring that recognises the importance of disability and also gives relevance to the group’s efforts to highlight that by its nature of disability it must be dynamically imbedded in Irish Development Policy for Overseas Development Aid.
Francis Flood is the Programme and Advocacy Manager at CBM Ireland and Chair of the Dóchas Disability and Development Working Group. He has worked in the voluntary/community sector on issues related to youth, mental health, drugs awareness, older people and international development. Prior to taking up his position with CBM Francis spent the previous 2.5 years working as an international development worker in South Sudan.
Fiona Coyle is the Dóchas Programme Officer. She has previously worked with Irish Aid, UNDP Lesotho and has also worked extensively with community development projects in Ireland. She holds a BA in Public and Social policy and a Masters in Community Development, from National University of Ireland Galway. She is also a native Irish speaker.