(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Nearly 300 participants from across the world, including a number of First Ladies, policymakers and educators, are to attend the Fifth International Shafallah Forum from January 22 to 24.
The event is being hosted by the Shafallah Centre for Children with Special Needs under the patronage of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
The theme of the forum, to be held at the Shafallah Centre, is 'Crisis, Conflicts and Disability: Ensuring Equality.' There will be an emphasis on special needs children in refugee camps.
Announcing the event yesterday, Shafallah Centre chairman Hassan Ali bin Ali described it as one of the world's foremost conferences on issues related to disability.
"The event complements one of the centre's missions to host international forums that bring together key figures to discuss the latest studies, assess the current practices and share their insights on topics related to disability," he said.
A new logo symbolises the forum's focus on humanity, promotes global unity and emphasises the importance of co-existence.
"It is absolutely vital for us, to share our experience and knowledge, while providing the maximum support to people with special needs," he stated.
There are over 1bn people with special needs around the world and 3.5mn disabled individuals are in refugee camps, Ali bin Ali said quoting the UN figures.
The focus of this year's forum will be on the marginalisation of persons with special needs during recent natural disasters in Japan, Haiti, Pakistan and the US, as well as the ongoing crises and conditions in refugee camps in the Middle East and Africa.
Baroness Valerie Amos, UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, will be the keynote speaker. More than 15 First Ladies and VIPs from across the globe are to attend. Turkey, Netherlands, Jordan, Poland and Finland are among the participating countries.
The three-day forum, which also brings together persons with disabilities and leaders in the field and humanitarian relief organisations, will discuss and showcase the latest developments in inclusive emergency planning to ensure the protection and safety of persons with special needs during armed conflict, humanitarian crises and natural disasters.
"The conference aims at helping people with special needs, while serving as a platform for dialogue and debate on issues and challenges facing different societies," the chairman said.