News and updates


In this section you will find information on news and updates from the Global Program for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development.

News & articles

WBU at the World Urban Forum 11 (2022): “Celebrating World Urban Forum 11: Setting a new standard for accessibility and engagement of persons with disabilities”. The 11th session of the World Urban Forum took place in the city of Katowice, Poland, in June 2022. It was a milestone event for accessibility in global discussions around urbanisation. Together with key partners, WBU coordinated a disability caucus delegation, moderated and co-facilitated numerous events, spoke at high-level sessions, and launched key resources, including The Journal of Public Space Special Issue on Universally Accessible Public Spaces for All. Read the full article here.

(2020-07-15) HLPF Event “Equity and Accessibility in Times of Pandemic: Building ‘Cities For All’ Post-COVID-19.” The webinar launched Recommendations for Empowering Local Governments on Inclusive Pandemic Response, and was co-organised by DIAUD network, World Enabled, The UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility, UNDESA, Permanent Mission of The United Arab Emirates to The United Nations, and Cities 4 All partners including WBU. Read more under Knowledge, Tools & Resources.

(2020-06-29) WBU delivers written stakeholder statement to the First Session of the UN-Habitat Executive Board Meeting 2020. WBU recognised the unique partnership with UN-Habitat and highlighted the need to make necessary arrangements facilitating the implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS). Read statement in English.

(2020-06-24) WBU participates in Expert-Group Meeting on monitoring of Public Space quality hosted by UN-Habitat and the European Commission with partners and delivers comments regarding monitoring of accessibility and participatory planning and monitoring including persons with disabilities. Summary report is yet to be published.

(2020-06-18) WBU delivers presentation on challenges and opportunities for accessible and inclusive public spaces in/for resilient communities. This webinar was organized in collaboration with Journal of Public Space and public space stakeholders. The recording and written summary can be accessed here.

(2020-05-20) WBU co-organises Expert Group Meeting on Inclusive Cities, focusing on inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons, together with UN-Habitat, Geneva Human Rights Platform, Geneva Cities Hub, OHCHR, GAP-PCG Persons with Disabilities, GAP-PCG Older Persons, and World Enabled. The meeting welcomed over 60 experts. Stay tuned for outcome document.

  •  “The World Blind Union (WBU) appreciates the initiative by UN-Habitat to engage experts, such as organized constituencies of persons with disabilities, to generate learning and actionable recommendations critical for UN-Habitat to accelerate mainstreaming throughout its operations, programmes and UN inter-agency coordination to create more inclusive cities” says Hannes Juhlin Lagrelius, WBU Program Officer and Co-Chair of the General Assembly of Partners-Partner Constituent Groups of Persons with Disabilities.

(2020-02-13) WBU at the World Urban Forum 10: A Critical Milestone Towards Cities for All. The Tenth World Urban Forum (WUF 10), focused on the theme “Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation,” and called for united action to ensure a better future for cities and towns. WBU, DPO partners and the DIAUD Network contributed to the outcome document, known as The Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, which includes actions and commitments towards achieving inclusive and accessible cities. It sets a road map for the next two years and beyond to support realization of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Read the full article WUF10:  World Urban Forum 10- A Critical Milestone Towards Cities for All (EN).

(2020-02-13) WBU coordinates participation of IDA members’ representatives and Bridge CRPD-SDGs Alumni in the 10th World Urban Forum. Comprehensive article with testimonials from the IDA-IDDC BRIDGE Alumni delegates in the GAP-PCG Persons with Disabilities (Multiple languages).

Press releases

(2020-01-28) UN-Habitat and the World Blind Union Sign a Milestone Agreement To Work Together To Make Cities Inclusive Accessible for All.

On January 28 UN-Habitat and WBU signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with joint commitments to accelerate UN-Habitat’s work towards mainstreaming disability inclusion, universal design and accessibility within its strategies, policies, programmes and operations in line with the New Urban Agenda, the 2030 Agenda, and the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy. Read full press release by UN-Habitat and full press release by WBU (multiple languages).

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