Clarification on Deaf Aotearoa’s position on the selection of UAE as the host country for the 2027 World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf

Kia ora Aotearoa Deaf community. 

We wanted to update you all and share of of the background of the voting process held yesterday. We had many people reaching out to us, thank you.

Firstly, Deaf Aotearoa voted for Norway.  NZ delegates Joanne and Craig has opportunity in the break to discuss with Zoe and Cha’nel, the youth NZ delegates, and agreed to vote for Norway. We believe their proposal was overall the strongest and that their history and commitment to Deaf people’s rights made them the ideal candidate to host the Congress in 2027.

We respect the General Assembly voting decision process that the WFD members have selected UAE as the host for 2027. We don’t agree with final decision but we respect each country right to make their own decision. However we note that the final votes were 40 to 32, which shows a significant portion of the members were in support of Norway. 

We understand that this has upset many people, particularly women and people from the rainbow community. We share these concerns and will be seeking reassurances from WFD and UAE that women and people from the rainbow community will be welcome and safe at the 2027 congress and will be allowed to fully participate in all activities. We expect that many countries will be asking similar questions of both WFD and UAE. 

We also have similar questions for UAE how they will host WFDYS camp as well, safely and inclusive for all youth participants regardless of their backgrounds. WFDYS board have mentioned they will look into this.

At this time, we do not know if Deaf Aotearoa will attend the General Assembly, Youth General Assembly and Congress in 2027, and we expect that we will make this decision once we have all the information available and our questions answered. This process will likely take over 3 years and so our decision will not be made until time is right.  

Deaf Aotearoa continue to maintain our position to support all human rights and the United Nations Convention of People with Disabilities. We will continue to advocate for better world where any Deaf, regardless of their background can participate in all activities.

We support the women and rainbow communities and we thank you for your support.

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