People with disabilities can help if given the right opportunities
MANILA, Phillipines – December 2: 4.12pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Persons with disabilities in the Pacific can effectively contribute to sustainable and resilient development if provided the space and an enabling environment that encourages them to contribute on an equal basis with others.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Disability Forum, Mr Setareki Macanawai, made the comment in his statement on the eve of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is observed every year on December 3.
And he has acknowledged the work done by Pacific Leaders towards transforming the island nations to be sustainable and resilient for all.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society, development and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all’. The theme reiterates the 2030 Agenda plea of leaving no one behind and encourages a society that is sustainable and resilient for all.
“The Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) acknowledges the work done by Pacific Leaders towards transforming the island nations to be sustainable and resilient for all,” Mr Macanawai said.
“Leaders in the Pacific adopted the Pacific Framework on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2016 to 2025. Furthermore, all 11 out of 13 Forum Island Countries have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) with the remaining 2 countries having only signed the convention. These actions by our leaders indicate the political will that is there to transform the Pacific to be sustainable and resilient for all.
“The PDF believes that this stance shown by our leaders need to trickle down to the ground level to ensure a sustainable and resilient society for all and most importantly guarantee all Pacific people to enjoy life on an equal basis without discrimination and limitations.”
Mr Macanawai said in commemorating this day, the PDF promotes the work of persons with disabilities’ representative organisations (DPOs), in transforming the Pacific to be a sustainable and resilient one for all.
“We are commemorating the day by building the capacity of duty bearers on disability-inclusive development, lobbying decision makers to include persons with disabilities in all development processes, building the capacity of persons with disabilities on their rights and promoting the protection, promotion and enjoyment of all human rights by all Pacific persons with disabilities,” he said.
“Persons with disabilities in the Pacific can effectively contribute to sustainable and resilient development if provided the space and an enabling environment that encourages them to contribute on an equal basis with others.
“PDF calls on its partners and stakeholders to include persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in all processes of development to guarantee a society that is inclusive, equitable, sustainable and resilient for all.
“Persons with Disabilities as beneficiaries and agents for change in society can effectively fast-track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote resilient society for all.”
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