At a Conference ­­ “Hope for the Retarded in Asia” ­­ held from 19­-22 November 1973 in Manila, Philippines, under the auspices of UNESCO, the 420 delegates from 21 countries present unanimously recommended for the establishment of the Asian Federation for the Mentally Retarded (AFMR). Thus the federation was inaugurated.

Rev. Fr. Arthur Malin (1902 ­-1980) was largely responsible for this first conference. Since then an Asian Conference on Mental Retardation (ACMR) had been held once every two years in each of the full member countries, as given in Conferences section. The second cycle began again in Manila in 2001.

At the 18th ACMR held in Taipei (19-­23 November 2007), the name of the Federation was officially changed to the ASIAN FEDERATION ON INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES (AFID), and the Conference henceforth will be known as the AFID conference.

The full and associate membership of AFID is given under Members. 

The constitution giving the structure of AFID is also given.

The AFID Executive Board is re­-elected once every two years at the general assembly held normally at the end of each AFID Conference. The AFID Executive Board comprises the President, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice ­Presidents, the Immediate Past President and 4 Members ­at­ Large; also attending with voice but no vote are the seven Honorary Members, and a representative each from the Asian Resource Centre (Japan), the AFID Secretariat (Korea), and the Asian Journal Centre (Korea).

At the general assembly held on 11 Oct 2013 at New Delhi, it was decided that the AFID Permanent Secretariat in Singapore will be closed down, and whatever money and records held will be passed on to the new AFID Secretariat in Seoul, Korea. This AFID Secretariat will be managed by the Korean Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (KAIDD). Its email address is kaidd@hanmail.net.


1. Promote, coordinate and sponsor activities related to intellectual disabilities in Asia.

2. Assist the formation of national organizations in any Asian country, and assist such national organizations to coordinate activities related to intellectual disabilities.

3. Provide means for intercommunication between various national organizations and individuals in Asia through publications, delegations, tours, etc.

4. Cooperate with international and regional organizations that have programs related to intellectual disabilities.

5. Encourage and facilitate exchanges of personnel.

6. Organize biennial conferences in the country of the President, and other conferences, seminars or workshops as called for by the Executive Board.

7. Promote research.

8. Advance the interest on intellectual disabilities by providing awards, fellowships and scholarships.

9. Receive donations and collect and administer funds and possess property for carrying out the objectives of the Federation.


1973. 11. The Asian Federation for the Mentally Retarded (AFMR) inaugurated under the auspices of UNESCO; Manila, Philippines

1973. 11. 1st Asian Conference on Mental Retardation (ACMR); Manila, Philippines [Theme: Hope for the Retarded in Asia]

1975. 2nd ACMR; Tokyo, Japan [Rights of the Mentally Retarded]

1977. 3rd ACMR; Bangalore, India [Mentally Retarded in a Changing Society]

1979. 4th ACMR; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia [Integration in Our Community]

1981. 5th ACMR; Hong Kong [Resources and Personnel Training]

1983. 6th ACMR; Indonesia [Towards Independent Living]

1985. 7th ACMR; Taipei, Taiwan [Growing in Wisdom: The Mentally Retarded Person in Asia]

1987. 8th ACMR; Singapore [Vision 2000: Perspectives & Challenges]

1989. 9th ACMR; Bangkok, Thailand [Quality of Life for the Mentally Retarded]

1991. 10th ACMR; Karachi, Pakistan [New Horizons in Caring and Sharing]

1993. 11th ACMR; Seoul, Korea [Global Harmony for Human Equality]

1995. 12th ACMR; Colombo, Sri Lanka [An Asian Perspective towards the 21st Century]

1997. 13th ACMR; Dhaka, Bangladesh [Rights of Persons with Mental Retardation: The Role of Government Agencies in Asia]

1999. 14th ACMR; Kathmandu, Nepal [Strategies for Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Mental Retardation]

2001. 11. 15th ACMR; Manila, Philippines [Inclusion: From Vision to Reality, Policy and Action]

2003. 08. 16th ACMR; Tsukuba, Japan [Empowerment and Full Participation]

2005. 11. 17th ACMR; Jogjakarta, Indonesia [A Concerted Effort]

2007. 11. 18th ACMR; Taipei, Taiwan [Universal Design Environment]

2007. 11. The Asian Federation for the Mentally Retarded (AFMR) changed to the Asian Federation on Intellectual Disabilities (AFID) and the Asian Conference on Mental Retardation (ACMR) to the AFID Conference; Taipei, Taiwan

2009. 11. 19th AFID Conference; Singapore [Towards Holistic Development]

2011. 08. 20th AFID Conference; Jeju, Korea [Passing from Freedom to Happiness]

2013. 10. 21st AFID Conference; New Delhi, India [Towards Dignity & Quality of Life]

2013. 10. The AFID Permanent Secretariat transferred from Singapore to Seoul, Korea; New Delhi, India

2015. 10. 22nd AFID Conference; Colombo, Sri Lanka [A Place for me Under the Sun]