Abu Dhabi has officially took up the mantle of organising and hosting the 20th World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) Congress in 2027, taking place for the first time in the MENA Region, organised by the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO), during the celebration organised at Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba in the presence of senior officials and organisers.
Dr Joseph J Murray, WFD's President, passed the baton to His Excellency Abdullah Al Humaidan, Secretary General of Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination.
His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination’s Board of Directors, extended his congratulations to the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Abu Dhabi's hosting the 20th WFD 2027 for the first time, announced during 19th WFD held in Jeju, South Korea.
His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan also congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, and His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan greeted and thanked all the institutions and entities cooperating with ZHO and the workforce that prepared a comprehensive host request file, who played a great part in winning the vote of the congress members to choose the emirate of Abu Dhabi. His Highness spoke highly of the coordination with representatives of the deaf associations and organisations from Arab countries and WFD countries, noting that this significant achievement reflects the great confidence of the international community in the UAE and its advanced structure that highlights the great successful organisation of major international events and activities in the UAE, especially those for People of Determination.
His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan confirmed that ZHO had begun, before the event, to prepare for this hosting to stand as the best in the WFD's history, as 125 countries and more than 2,000 participants from all over the world are expected to attend.
His Excellency Abdullah Al Humaidan, Secretary General of Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination stated his pleasure with Abu Dhabi's organising of the WFD congress, stressing that this step fulfills the vision of the UAE, and the emirate of Abu Dhabi, on supporting People of Determination, in an effort to build bridges of cooperation and exchange experiences with relevant local, regional and international parties to develop and exchange experiences with various international bodies specialised in People of Determination's affairs.
His Excellency asserted that Abu Dhabi, with its experienced profesionals and integrated infrastructure, will present to the world an unprecedented version of the congress, highlighting the wise leadership's support for development across key areas, demonstrating keenness to achieve the highest rates and standards of success.
ZHO will work to prepare to organise the congress, which has been held every four years since its inception in 1951, and is organised by the WFD and the host country. This event brings together delegates from national federations and youth organisations eager to take part in exchanging global best practices, experiences and knowledge, with the participation of deaf people from all around the globe. The congress's theme is chosen by the host country, and the annual general assembly meeting is held and strategic directions for the upcoming four years of its work.
The Supreme Organizing Committee of Sheikh Zayed Festival expressed its happiness at hosting the takeover ceremony that took place in the festival’s grounds, based on its keenness to organize and host community and humanitarian events and major activities that focus on building noble values that demonstrate progress, led by the vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who worked hard for all groups and segments of Emirati society and People of Determination in particular. The Committee emphasised the important contribution of the WFD Congress in achieving common visions on integrating the deaf community into society, raising awareness about their rights and capabilities and the importance of involving them in the development process in their societies.
The committee organized a tour for the participating People of Determination to the SZF's various grounds and sections to introduce them to Emirati heritage, customs and traditions, and to involve them in cultural and entertainment events, as well as introducing them closely to the distinguished products at the ZHO's pavilion. During the tour, People of Determination observed traditional folk songs in the festival’s grounds, learned about the activities provided by the national pavilions and participating countries, which enhance the festival’s standing as a global meeting point for cultures and civilizations, bringing together families and individuals.
The congress is such an opportunity for Abu Dhabi to present its efforts and successful experiencea in caring for and empowering People of Determination, and a number of initiatives and policies that are consistent with international standards, empowering People of Determination in the process of sustainable development, as well as highlighting efforts to create a supportive environment that enhances quality of life for People of Determination and their families.
The meetings also aim to exchange the best global practices, experiences and knowledge among participating countries, and exchange views and opinions on qualifying the deaf in all fields, developing relations with national organisations and federations from around the world, in addition to consolidating friendship and cooperation between the deaf on the continents represented, and finally providing the opportunity for the People of Determination to take part in the event and express their opinions through the congress and accompanying programmes
The congress includes a large cultural programme of stage performances, fikm screenings, exhibitions, arts, and visits to local landmarks. The WFD works on promoting the rights of the deaf community around the world, focusing on improving national sign languages, delivering better education for the deaf, improving access to information and services, in addition to enhancing the inclusion of the deaf community in developing countries, and encouraging the establishment of organisations for the deaf.