Earlier this year, the World Blind Union was invited by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) to take part, for the second time, in the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders held from October 10 to 14 in Daejeon, South Korea. The Daejeon UCLG World Congress gathered participants from over 140 countries and 1,000 cities from all over the world. One key outcome of the Congress was the adoption of the Pact for the Future of Humanity.
Why this matters for WBU
Since COVID-19, the role of local governments has become ever more important to ensure no one and no place is left behind. Local authorities have the power and mandate to tackle the complex issues that have created barriers for people who are blind or partially sighted. Cities decide on physical and digital infrastructure, access to public services and spaces, education, employment, Disaster Risk Reduction and climate action, transportation, mobility and more.
In Daejeon, the WBU met with the local municipal movement, local leadership and international actors to discuss ways to solve today’s challenges that impact persons with disabilities the most including climate change, poverty and exclusion, disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
The work of WBU at the Congress
WBU was the main global Organisation of Persons with Disabilities represented at the Congress, and we took part in many dialogues and sessions to share our experience, tools and expertise. WBU led the coordination of an Accessibility Caucus together with a diverse network of partners and allies who have been actively engaged in promoting cities for all and supporting implementation of accessibility and the New Urban Agenda at the local level.
Building on the work completed since the previous UCLG Congress and the advocacy work on the New Urban Agenda, the WBU and the Accessibility Caucus have worked to ensure that the progress and commitments made by cities, local and regional governments towards inclusive and accessible cities, are not forgotten or compromised but instead put into action.
For more information, please visit our YouTube channel and learn more about the WBU and the Accessibility Caucus.
Benjamin Dard, WBU Senior Advisor for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development
This post was written by Fridah Mlemwa