Her Excellency Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al-Misnad, the Minister of Social Development and Family, affirmed that the State of Qatar has contributed, during the past decades, to harnessing all possible means to care for persons with disabilities at all local and international levels.
Up on chairing the second workshop on the “Arab Classification of Disability”, organized by the Ministry of Social Development and Family, in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, which was held for two days in Doha, Her Excellency, stressed the need to empower persons with disabilities in the Arab world, to be part of the move, and rather at the forefront not behind.
Her Excellency stated that over the past years, strenuous and tirless Arab efforts have been made in empowering and integrating persons with disabilities in our societies, “however the tangible evidence, on which our diagnosis is based in the State of Qatar, makes us firmly believe that these efforts have remained below the level of expectations in the Arab framework, for a main reason. manifested in the lack of policies and programs to support persons with disabilities in the Arab world that of a unified and up to date classification to ensure inclusiveness and leave no one behind, and that our societies be qualified to bear the responsibility of inclusion, interaction and containment.”
Her Excellency noted that she had announced from the United Nations Headquarters in New York that the State of Qatar is ready to host and organize the Fourth World Summit on Disability in Doha in 2028, in cooperation with the International Disability Alliance, upon heading the State of Qatar’s delegation participating in the Fifteenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and further stated that this step complements the Arab leadership journey that the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will inaugurate by hosting the Third World Summit for People with Disabilities in 2025 in partnership with Germany.
Her Excellency the Minister of Social Development and Family called for the adoption of a unified Arab classification for disabilities based on practical classification elements that go beyond the scope defined by the medical standard, and without undermining it, but by integrating it with the rest of the standards such as the skill, societal, educational standards…etc, Her Excellency added that: from my position, I perceive that we have a moral responsibility before being a professional stance… to lay this desired foundation.”
Her Excellency noted that if the Arab group manages to overcome the traditional challenges in the classification that imped them, it will be at the forefront of the global efforts as the first region in the world to set this precedent in a key global file.
Her Excellency pointed that the date of hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has less than five months left, and it is the first Arab World Cup in history. Her Excellency reiterated the readiness of the State of Qatar to receive football fans with disabilities in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, noting that the past years have witnessed unprecedented preparations to ensure that this tournament is the most accessible for people with disabilities in the history of the world championships.
Her Excellency further stated that a number of World Cup stadiums have been provided with sensory rooms for people with intellectual disabilities, providing an ideal atmosphere suitable for children with autism and neurobehavioral disorders to enjoy the matches in a safe space equipped with all advanced tools and devices, noting that these preparations also extend to receiving the masses coming from outside the State of Qatar as Hamad International Airport has a hall named “Al Shafallah Center” that provides services to people with disabilities and autism, equipped with the latest assistive technology and educational and rehabilitation equipment aimed at providing the best travel experience they deserve.
His Excellency Ayman Al Mufleh, Minister of Social Development in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, stated that the second workshop on the Arab classification of disability is of great importance, not only for the Arab region to accomplish a classification that is the first in the world, but it makes a difference on the ground for persons with disabilities, as well as on the implementation of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
His Excellency further explained that the issue of classification is a key qualitative leap in the joint Arab action in this field, adding that “this classification will be one of the main inputs to the World Disability Summit, which Jordan will host in partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany in 2025.
His Excellency affirmed the support of the Executive Office of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs for the work of this workshop, pledging to present its results and their adoption by Excellencies Ministers of the Arab Ministers of Social Affairs, and to provide the necessary technical support to all member states to implement this classification at the national level, in a way that positively benefit the lives of persons with disabilities.
Her Excellency Ambassador Dr. Haifa Abu-Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and Head of the Social Affairs Sector, stated that the effort of the second workshop on the Arab classification of disability is a historic event, as it seeks to establish the first regional classification in the world for persons with disabilities, based on the principles the general classification agreed upon, at the first workshop in the United Arab Emirates, on December 5 – 6, 2021, which was praised and welcomed by senior international figures, who expressed their aspiration for this classification in a way that could benefit from it at the international level.
Her Excellency added that, “we have a great responsibility and burden to come up with an Arab classification for people with disabilities, noting that the technical and objective preparation for this expected classification contributes to the transition to a comprehensive classification and evaluation of disability on its two parts, leading to the design of a new system and its application mechanisms within an institutional framework.
Her Excellency further noted the importance of setting a framework and roadmap for developing the new model classifying and evaluating disability in the Arab countries.
Her Excellency stressed the provision of the necessary support, through the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs, to the two summits, the third global summit for persons with disabilities chaired by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and the fourth by the State of Qatar.
On day one of the workshop, which was an specialized sessions aimed at developing a roadmap for developing a new model for classification and evaluation of disability, in addition to shifting to a comprehensive classification and evaluation of disability in the Arab region, with participation of key policy and decision makers in the field of disability at the Arab and international levels.