Interested in other areas of Sightsavers? Visit

Language selection

We use Google Translate as a service to provide you with different languages to choose from. Being an automated tool, it may occasionally make mistakes.

Select language:

“We need actions: words are no longer enough”

February 2023
Reya from Bangladesh sits at a desk writing. She has shortened limbs and is wearing a pink blouse.
© Sightsavers/Reza Shahriar Rahman

On the one-year anniversary of the Global Disability Summit (GDS), campaigners are calling on governments to follow through on commitments they made on disability rights. 

February 16 marks the a year since the second Global Disability Summit, which was held virtually, hosted by the governments of Norway and Ghana and the permanent co-host, the International Disability Alliance (IDA). The 2022 event attracted more than 7,000 participants, with 1,420 new commitments about disability rights submitted by 190 governments and other stakeholders. 

To mark the date, Sightsavers’ Equal World campaign and IDA are calling on these governments, decision makers and stakeholders to report back on the progress they have made on their commitments so far. They will be able to report back by accessing the online platform iData, a GDS tracking system hosted by the GDS secretariat.  

Disability inclusion remains a neglected area of global development, with new data analysis from Sightsavers showing that only 6.4% of official development assistance is disability inclusive. 

Sightsavers deputy CEO Dominic Haslam said: “The Global Disability Summit has been a huge opportunity for governments to address inequality. It was great to see them attend and make commitments on how they will address disability inclusion. But now is the time for action.   

“It is vital that governments continue to honour these commitments and make their actions speak as loud as their words. Our Equal World campaign urgently calls on all GDS governments and stakeholders to uphold disability rights and make their summit commitments a reality.”

IDA executive director Vladimir Cuk said: “One year on from the Summit, the world faces huge challenges and millions of people with disabilities are treated unequally. In such a sphere, the GDS can be the carrier of good news: it can inspire governments to take action through commitments, and can rally people behind an area in which involvement can bring positive and concrete results.  

“Through the Global Disability Summit, we want to call on governments, multilateral agencies, the private sector and INGOs to report back on their commitments. Words are not enough: actions speak louder.” 

The Global Disability Summit is the world’s largest gathering of governments, global leaders and people with disabilities, providing an opportunity to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).  

The next summit will be held in 2025 and co-hosted by the International Disability Alliance, and the governments of Germany and Jordan.  

Learn more more about the Global Disability Summit and view the commitments made in 2018 and 2022 on the Global Disability Summit website

A man and a woman cuddle a young baby on their laps.

Sign the petition

Join our call and ask governments to take action on the commitments they made at the Global Disability Summit.

Take action now

Read all our latest news stories

Campaigns news