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A vital role to play

May 2024 update from Wilton Park Chief Executive, Tom Cargill.


Wilton Park has a proud tradition of defining global challenges, and catalysing international policy responses in areas such as conflict resolution, development, global health, climate change, and nuclear non-proliferation.

Resilience is now emerging as a new global frontier, where building consensus on the challenge is critical to addressing it, and Wilton Park is playing a defining role in supporting this work.

The UK deserves to be particularly well positioned. Recently the UK was referred to as being ‘small enough to be nimble, but big enough to matter’. That includes the uniquely influential science and technology, cultural and creative, financial and voluntary sectors.

If that combination of size and flexibility can be optimised, especially by clarity of common purpose and effective partnerships between government, private sector and civil society, then the UK stands to not only ride out and face down the growing global turmoil, but importantly, help other countries to do so too.

In building and directing all these partnerships, Wilton Park has an increasingly vital role to play, and we are ever more committed to pursuing it.

Disability rights: advancing the agenda

In the lead up to the 20th anniversary of the 2006 adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as well as the five year review of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS), in 2024, this week’s Retreat on Disability Rights was timed to precede the 2025 Global Disability Summit.

Since the adoption of the CRPD, the UN has taken great strides towards the inclusion of a disability perspective in its work in multiple areas, ranging from awareness raising, to more accessible and inclusive work environments. Aside from the CRPD and UNDIS, the UN has other mechanisms to promote disability rights. These mechanisms have undoubtedly fostered change, including the adoption of specific, tailored disability strategies in some UN specialised agencies.

The Retreat provided an overview of progress made; explored persistent challenges; identified opportunities for action, and put forward recommendations and concrete proposals to enhance efforts in support of the rights of persons with disabilities at the local, national and international levels.

We brought together Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) alongside UN agencies and States to discuss ways in which to ensure persons with disabilities are meaningfully involved in policy making and practical application on the ground.

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