Report from the General Assembly of the World Federation of the Deaf

News & Events

Report from the General Assembly of the World Federation of the Deaf
September 29, 2011

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By Doug Momotiuk and Michel Lelievre, CAD-ASC Delegates

General Assembly and Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf
We were the official Canadian delegates participating in the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)’s Workshop and General Assembly on July 15 – 17, 2011, and we also attended the XVI World Congress of the WFD on July 18 – 24, 2011. Both events were held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, South Africa.

Delegates from 72 countries and the WFD Board participated in the two-day General Assembly. They debated and ratified issues detailed below:
• completed the guidelines for future congresses (including CAD-ASC’s recommendations from the 2003 World Congress);
• provided information and training regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD);
• reduced the length of future World Congresses from one week to “3 to 5” days;
• distributed the reports of the WFD Board on activities of 2007-2011 and audited financial reports;
• gave a presentation on the four goals of the Action Plan 2011-2015: International Human Rights Advocacy; Human Rights Training Activities; Expanding Information Distribution and External Communications; Strengthen the WFD.
• discussed the need to implement a global survey on the educational rights of deaf students, as stated in Article 24 – Education of the UN CRPD;
• agreed to examine the life situation and status of deaf people with multiple disabilities;
• considered a flag to symbolize the Deaf Community all over the world;
• voted for Istanbul, Turkey to host the XVII World Congress of the WFD in 2015;
• elected the Board for 2011-2015. Colin Allen of Australia won the election for President. Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen of South Africa won the election for WFD Vice-President.

The Canadian Association of the Deaf – Association des Sourds du Canada was presented with the Vittorio Ieralla Award (international award) which recognizes CAD-ASC as the Ordinary Member that was most active between Congresses. Bravo!

There were 2,100 participants from 125 countries at the XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf.