Media statement on the host for the WFD XX World Congress

WFD Board sees there is much discussion about the selection of the host for the 2027 Congress. As we previously stated, before the XXI General Assembly, the WFD received assurances from all three bid OMs that all delegates were welcome in their countries and that specifically LGBTQIA+ delegates would be safe in their countries. After the General Assembly we received further confirmation from the UAE that this is indeed the case.

The issue before us now is very specific: whether or not LGBTQIA+ topics can be presented at this Congress. The WFD is adamant that our Congresses are spaces for discussion of all human rights topics. We are in dialogue with the UAE about this.

We see some discussion has veered from this specific issue to expressions of different forms of stigmatization of different groups. It is not ok to minimize LGBTQIA+ issues or stigmatize LGBTQIA+ communities. We stand with LGBTQIA+ deaf people and communities. It is not ok to engage in islamophobic discourse or to engage in negative stereotypes of Arab peoples or Arab cultures. Discussion on this topic can proceed with respect to all countries and all groups within our deaf communities.

The WFD is a global organisation with 137 country members. Anywhere deaf people are, we aim to be there too. This means we work in countries with different cultures and different values, and we work with representative organisations of deaf people in these countries to promote their human rights as deaf people within their countries.

As a global organisation promoting human rights, we face unequal understandings of human rights issues among our member countries. This is our challenge. But it is also our opportunity. To expand deaf communities’ understanding of human rights, and to work to ensure the equality of all deaf people everywhere. We will not retreat from this challenge, or from our global mission. We accept this challenge, and the tensions within this work, as a fundamental part of our mission.

1 thought on “Media statement on the host for the WFD XX World Congress”

  1. Fantastic… please do keep us all informed. As a coda, I’m always interested in any developments affecting our community especially the rights.
    I thank you
    Sheila (sam) Reuben


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