Inclusion of invisible and neglected disabilities (Leprosy) in climate-change action and disaster risk reduction for a sustainable and resilient future

16 June 2022

The 15th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD COSP15) will be scheduled to take place at the United Nations Headquarters, New York,  from 14 to 16  June 2022, during which an election of nine members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with disabilities will be conducted.

Theme and sub-themes of the Conference:

Overarching theme: Building disability-inclusive and participatory societies in the COVID context and beyond

  • Sub theme 1: Innovation and technology advancing disability rights
  • Sub theme 2: Economic empowerment and entrepreneurship of persons with disabilities
  • Sub theme 3: Participation of persons with disabilities in climate action, disaster risk reduction and resilience against natural disasters.

This event, Inclusion of invisible and neglected disabilities (Leprosy) in climate-change action and disaster risk reduction for a sustainable and resilient future, will be held on June 16 at 8:30 am EST.

Highlighting the need for participatory approach for inclusion of persons with disabilities in the development process, the side-event aims to build awareness on the needs and inclusion of invisible and neglected disabilities, such as Leprosy, to ensure that State Parties recognize a diversity of disabilities and provide them with equal access and opportunities as other mainstream disabilities under the national laws in compliance with the UNCRPD. The side-event aims to identify policy gaps and implementation challenges, confront barriers that prevents participation of the disability community particularly persons affected by Leprosy, as well as identify opportunities for optimizing a disability inclusive disaster risk reduction through lived experiences and examples of good practices of inclusion within the disaster risk management and climate-related decision-making at local, national, regional and global levels guided by the principle of 'Leave No One Behind'!


  • Welcome Address & Moderator: Mr. Arman Ali, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Persons with Disabilities (DPI India)
  • Keynote Address: Dr. Floyd Morris, Member, UNCRPD Committee
  • Special Message: Ms. Alice Cruz, UN Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by Leprosy and their families
  • Testimony from person affected by Leprosy: Mr. Dinesh Basnet, President, IDEA Nepal
  • Panel Discussion:
  • Perspective from the disability and leprosy sector:
  • Ms. Sruti Mohapatra, Vice Chairperson, DPI India and Founder and Director, Swabhiman, India
  • Ms. Lilibeth Evarestus, Legal Practitioner and National Coordinator, Purple Hope Initiative, Nigeria
  • Ms. Ipul Powaseu, Disability Rights Activist, PhD Scholar at Deakin University, De, Former Chairperson, Papua New Guinea National Assembly of Disabled People (DPI PNG)
  • Perspective from supporting organizations:
  • Mr. Takahiro Nanri, Executive Director, Sasakawa Health Foundation, Japan (policy level)
  • Mr. Nazmul Bari, Director, Centre for Disability in Development (CDD), Bangladesh (programme level)
  • Q&A
  • Closing Remarks: H.E. Ambassador Mr. Kimura Tetsuya, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations