The conference is organised in the framework of the Cypriot Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and will be hosted by the Ministry of Welfare, Labour and Social Insurance of Cyprus. The conference will provide a platform for an in-depth exchange on the five priority areas identified in the Strategy:


  1. Equality and non-discrimination
  2. Awareness raising
  3. Accessibility
  4. Equal recognition before the law
  5. Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse




The aim of the conference is to identify how all actors in the Council of Europe member States and within the organisation can work together to realise the objectives of the Strategy over the years to come.




The conference will bring together representatives of governments from the 47 Council of Europe member States, international organisations, parliamentarians, local and regional authorities, representatives of professional networks, non-governmental organisations, representatives from the media and academia, as well as persons with disabilities, specialised organisations and service providers.




The conference duration is two days, including a reception hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, on 27 March 2017. The conference will be opened by a high-level panel and followed by six thematic sessions where participants can learn about and discuss recent developments regarding some of the most acute challenges covered by the Strategy.




Participation in the conference is by invitation only. Government representatives responsible for disability issues from all 47 member States will be invited to attend the conference. The maximum size of national delegations is two persons. The participation of two representatives per member State will be paid by the Council of Europe.  Invitations will also be issued to representatives of Council of Europe bodies, non-governmental organisations, specialised service organisations, professional and academic networks and other international organisations.






The conference will take place in the Filoxenia Conference Centre, Nicosia (Cyprus) on 27-28 March 2017.




The working languages will be English and French with simultaneous interpretation. Sign language interpretation in English and French will also be provided.