‘There are 1.3 billion reasons to get this right’: helping governments share best practice on disability inclusion

By on 30/01/2023 | Updated on 31/01/2023
A picture of attendees at the :Zero Project Conference.
Picture credit: Peppo Schuster, Zero Project

A new policy forum will be launched next month bringing together policymakers from different governments to share and cultivate policy innovations. Robin Tim Weis sets out why it is important for public servants to learn from each other’s successes and failures

An estimated 1.3 billion people – or 1 in 6 people worldwide – experience a significant disability according to the World Health Organization.

Governments, municipalities, and cities are recognising the barriers that continue to exist in societies, and which curtail the rights of persons with disabilities. As governments work to change that reality on the ground, many are looking to understand what needs to change – for persons with and without disabilities – in order for all to enjoy their rights on an equal basis.

Since the publication of the United Nations Convention for Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in 2008, international cooperation on disability inclusion issues has been steadily growing. Today, select governments around the world have laid down benchmarks, implemented international standards, and amended backward laws – allowing persons with disabilities to cast their own paths.

However, there is still much work to be done in order to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society are not left behind. This is where The Zero Project – a non-profit foundation based in Vienna, Austria – comes in.

The Zero Project has been formed to identify, curate, and share inclusive solutions in line with the aims of the UN CRPD. In order to achieve this objective, The Zero Project engages with a worldwide cross-sectoral network of innovators, decision-makers, and opinion leaders to share what works with the aim of creating a world with zero barriers to independent living.

The Zero Project Policymaker Forum

Every year, The Zero Project Conference is held to bring together these innovators.

This year’s event, which will be hosted at the United Nations Office in Vienna on 22 February 2023, will see the launch of The Zero Project Policymaker Forum. The Forum is intended to bring together high-level policymakers to not only present outstanding public policies, but also to engage in conversation with each other to learn and cultivate greater policy innovations.

The inaugural forum will provide an introduction to novel and inclusive accessibility legislation from around the world, and will serve as a platform for ministers, commissioners, and other government officials to come together to share and learn from each other’s experiences in legislating for a more accessible and inclusive world.

Under the principle “do not reinvent the wheel”, policymakers will stress their unique legislative achievements and how these can potentially be replicated abroad.

The Forum will hear from government representatives from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Ireland, Israel, India, and Singapore about their own legislative experiences and about regional trends in creating and replicating accessible disability and inclusion legislation. All interventions will centre around United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and, ultimately, the forum will provide an opportunity for members to share their own experiences and to learn from each other’s successes and failures.

Join policymakers in Vienna
The are 1.3 billion reasons to get it right, and The Zero Project extends an open invitation to Global Government Forum readers to learn from the work of their peers overseas, and to build links with fellow civil servants on the ground in Vienna during The Zero Project Conference 2023. Please express your interest in receiving an invitation to: Robin Tim Weis, director of international affairs at The Zero Project, [email protected]
Date:               Wednesday 22 February – Friday 24 February 2023
Location:        United Nations Office, Vienna
Organiser:      Zero Project: https://zeroproject.org/

About Robin Tim Weis

Director, international affairs, Zero Project

One Comment

  1. Gerard KELLY says:

    With regards to the Zero project forum in Vienna from 23.02 to 25.02.2023, will it be made available for remote participation via Zoom/Skype etc

    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *