Global Leader's Challenge

On this 2023 edition of the International Day of Sign Languages, the world will highlight the unity generated by sign languages. Deaf communities, governments and civil society organisations continue their collective efforts - hand in hand - to foster, promote and recognise national sign languages as part of their countries’ vibrant and diverse linguistic landscapes. 


A World Where Deaf People Everywhere
Can Sign Anywhere!

This celebration arises from Resolution A/RES/72/161 of the United Nations adopted in 2017, which recognizes the 23rd of September as the International Day of Sign Languages.  

Following the successes of the Global Leader Challenges for three years, the WFD is proud to announce its continuation to be achieved during the upcoming International Day of Sign Languages, on 23 September 2023. This challenge aims to promote the use of national sign languages by national and global leaders in partnership with their national associations of deaf people.

Your country leaders - might they be Prime Ministers, Presidents, other government officials, members of parliaments, or members of city council - should sign in your national sign language “A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere!”  

The Global Leaders Challenge is an opportunity for national associations of deaf people to establish and maintain sustainable collaborations with their national leaders through the use of their national sign languages. 

Previous editions

Global Leders Challenge 2023

Global Leders Challenge 2022

Global Leders Challenge 2021

Global Leders Challenge 2020

Name: Michelle Bachelet
Country: United Nations
Role: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Name: Jean Todt
Country: United Nations
Role: UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Road Safety

Name: Olga Algayerova
Country: United Nations
Role: The Executive Secretary of UNECE (UN Economic Commission for Europe)

Name: María del Socorro Flores
Country: United Nations
Role: Chair of the Human Rights Council Task Force on Accessibility

Name: Denys Shmyhal
Country: Ukraine
Role: Prime Minister

Name: Erna Solberg
Country: Norway
Role: Prime Minister

Name: Hon.Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr Sa’ilele Maliel
Country: Samoa
Role: Prime Minister

Name: Law Chi-kwong
Country: Hong Kong
Role: Secretary for Labour and Welfare

Name: Serhiy Shkarlet
Country: Ukraine
Role: Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine

Name: Sophie Cluzel
Country: France
Role: Minister of Disability

Name: Denitsa Sacheva
Country: Bulgaria
Role: Minister of Labor and Social Policy

Name: Maxym Stepanov
Country: Ukraine
Role: Minister of Health

Name: Jack Chambers
Country: Ireland
Role: Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Sport

Name: Marina Lazebna
Country: Ukraine
Role: Minister of social policy

Name: Anne Rabbitte
Country: Irleand
Role: Minister for Disabilities

Name: Mama Coumaré
Country: Mali
Role: General Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs

Name: Mrs. Shahnaz Karimi
Country: Iran
Role: Head of Special Education of Tehran

Name: Donna Shalala
Country: USA
Role: Congresswoman

Name: Loic Prud'homme
Country: France
Role: Member of Parliament

Name: Catriona Laing
Country: Nigeria
Role: British High Commissioner

Name: Liudmyla Denisova
Country: Ukraine
Role: Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

Name: Zamani Saul
Country: South Africa
Role: Premier of the Northern Cape

Name: Mr. Abolfazl Kaboli
Country: Iran
Role: Special Inspector of Deputy Minister of Social Partnerships of the Ministry of Interior

Name: Jérémie Boroy
Country: France
Role: President of the National Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities

Name: Allan Winde
Country: South Africa
Role: Premier of the Western Cape

Name: Vitali Klitschko
Country: Ukraine
Role: Mayor of Kyiv

Name: Anne Hidalgo
Country: France
Role: Mayor of Paris

Name: Brian Bowman
Country: Canada
Role: Mayor of Winnipeg

Name: Hazel Chu
Country: Ireland
Role: Lord Mayor of Dublin

Name: Nicolas Samsoen
Country: France
Role: Mayor of Massy

Name: Dr. Seyyed Javad Hoseini
Country: Iran
Role: Deputy Minister and Head of Special Education Department of the Country

40 - Belgique from World Federation of the Deaf on Vimeo.

Name: Sophie Wilmès
Country: Belgium
Role: Prime Minister

Name: Habit Hajredini
Country: Kosovo
Role: Director Office of Good Governance/Prime Minister Office of Republic of Kosovo

Name: Moussa Mara
Country: Mali
Role: Current member of Mali Parliament and Ex-Prime Minister 2014-2015

Name: Maria Sangaré
Country: Mali
Role: National Director of Special and Preschool Éducation - Representative of the Ministry of National Education

Name: Several Leaders
Country: Croatia

Name: Mark Takano
Country: USA
Role: Congressman

Name: Joel Thomas
Country: Haiti
Role: CAPPA's CEO and Nation Board member of SANFIL

Name: Hatouma Gakou
Country: Mali
Role: Social Affairs Administor - President of the Malian Federation of Associations of People with Disabilities in Mali

Name: Valerii Sushkevych
Country: Ukraine
Role: Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Name: Henry Noël
Country: Mali
Role: Director of NGO Humanity and Inclusion

Name: Salif SANOGO
Country: Mali
Role: Director General of the Mali Radio Television Office

Name: Tara Hartley
Country: Canada

Name: Azbije Ramaj
Country: Albania
Role: Director of Institute of Deaf Students Tirana

Name: Anira Thinon
Country: Thailand
Role: Deputy Director-General, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEP)

Name: Luigi Soreca
Country: Albania
Role: EU Ambassador to Albania

Name: Limya Eltayeb
Country: Albania
Role: UNDP Country Director in Albania

Name: Anisa Ruseti
Country: Albania
Role: Deputy Mayor - Municipality of Tirana. Albania.

Name: Ogerta Manastirliu
Country: Albania
Role: Ministry of Health and Social Protection

Name: Rafael Vera Castillo
Country: Chile
Role: Mayor of Vicuña

Name: Vladyslav Kryklii
Country: Ukraine
Role: Minister of Infrastructure

Name: Lindsay Hoyle
Country: United Kingdom
Role: Speaker of the House of Commons

Name: Ayelet Shaked
Country: Israel
Role: Member of Parliament

Name: Several leaders
Country: Czech Republic

Name: Tamir.E
Country: Mongolia
Role: Director of General authority for Development of Persons with Disabilities

Name: Altmaa.B
Country: Mongolia
Role: Director of Vocational training center

Name: Bayrbat.S
Country: Mongolia
Role: Director of Rehabilitation and Vocational training center

Name: Carmen Calvo
Country: Spain
Role: Vice president, Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory

Name: Pablo Iglesias
Country: Spain
Role: Second Vice president and Minister of Social Rights and the Government´s 2030 Agenda

Name: Fernando Grande-Marlaska
Country: Spain
Role: The Minister for Home Affairs

Name: Meritxell Batet
Country: Spain
Role: The Speaker of the Lower House of Spanish Parliament

Name: Pilar Llop
Country: Spain
Role: The Speaker of the Upper House of Spanish Parliament

Name: Jesús Celada
Country: Spain
Role: The Director of Disability Policy

Name: Luis Cayo
Country: Spain
Role: The president of Cermi Estatal

Name: Luciano Poyato
Country: Spain
Role: The president of Plataforma Tercer Sector

Name: Viktoras Pranckietis
Country: Lithuania
Role: Speaker of the Seimas

Name: Marco Antonio Gamarra La Barrera
Country: Peru
Role: President of the National Council for the Integration of People with Disabilities

Name: Attila Fülöp
Country: Hungary
Role: State Secretary for Social Affairs

Name: Olena Zelenska
Country: Ukraine
Role: First Lady of Ukraine

Name: Jorge Munoz Welles
Country: Peru
Role: Mayor of Lima

Name: Zoran Milanović 
Country: Croatia
Role: President of the Republic

Name: Andrej Plenković
Country: Croatia
Role: Prime Minister

Name: Renata Sabljar-Dračevac
Country: Croatia
Role: Chair of the Health and Social Policy Committee at the Croatian Parliament 

Name: Josip Aladrović
Country: Croatia
Role: Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy

Name: Anka Slonjšak
Country: Croatia
Role: Ombudswoman for Persons with Disabilities

Name: Muhyiddin Yassin
Country: Malaysia
Role: Prime Minister

Name: Archil Talakvadze
Country: Georgia
Role: Parliament Chairman

Name: Salome Zurabishvili
Country: Georgia
Role: President

Name: Rati Ionatamishvili
Country: Georgia
Role: Leader of the majority of the Parliament

Name: Giorgi Sharabidze
Country: Georgia
Role: Deputy Chairperson of the Central Election Commission

Name: Khatia Dekanoidze
Country: Georgia
Role: Member of Parliament

Name: Giorgi Vashadze
Country: Georgia
Role: Candidate for Prime Minister

Name: Hugo Lopez-Gatell
Country: Mexico
Role: Subsecretary of promotion and prevention of Health

Name: Sergi Kapanadze
Country: Georgia
Role: Member of Parliament