General News

3rd ASEAN Disability Forum comes to a close

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman and Ms. Saowalak on the stage

THE third ASEAN Disability Forum concluded at the Rizqun International Hotel, Gadong, yesterday with a set of recommendations aimed towards alleviating poverty and enhancing employment.

Outcomes of the forum, which have not been disclosed to local media, are expected to assist governments as well as relevant agencies in the formulation of policies and programmes for citizens with disabilities in the region.

The Acting Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports said the recommendations reflect their passion, concerns and aspirations for disability issues and its development prospects in ASEAN.

โ€œWhilst these recommendations are action lines in themselves, they should also serve as a framework for a more integrated approach in pursuing development strategies that include social, economic and environmental policies to empower persons with disabilities,โ€ said Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman.

She urged the ASEAN Disability Forum committee to share the document with ASEAN sectoral bodies for the promotion of disability-inclusive development within the regional bloc.

In Brunei, the outcomes of the forum will be presented to the Special Committee on Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly to be considered in their review of current policies and programmes as well as to develop new strategies to improve the Action Plan on people with disabilities.

Through its mission statement, the Action Plan serves to protect and empower people with disabilities to become independent and productive members of society.

The Action Plan covers issues on legislation, advocacy, education, health, employment, accessibility to buildings and transport, participation, data collection and protection from exploitation, abuse and violence.

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina also noted that the forum, comprising over 200 participants, had productive discussions over the past two days on the theme of reducing poverty and enhancing employment prospects.

โ€œBut our work in improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities in order to ensure the fulfillment of their rights in all aspects of life is far from over,โ€ she said, adding there are significant opportunities for greater integration and inclusiveness for disability issues towards ASEAN Community 2015.

In her closing address, she also highlighted the untapped human resources of people with disabilities which could contribute to sustainable development efforts at local, national and regional levels.

โ€œPersons with disabilities around the globe constitute a significant group that can contribute to development and society, and yet their potential has not always been realised because of existing barriers,โ€ said Datin Paduka Hjh Adina.

These circumstances, she pointed out, pose substantial challenges for policymakers, programme implementers, service providers and to people with disabilities.

โ€œAs it is also at this juncture that the work and collaboration of disabled peopleโ€™s organisations play a beneficial role in reinforcing the work of the government and other major stakeholders in mainstreaming disability perspectives in every facet of national and regional development,โ€ she said.

Conducted by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in collaboration with local organisations, the ASEAN Disability Forum was hosted in Brunei for the first time on December 11 to 12.

Additional Information

Country: Brunei Darussalam
Email: N/A
Phone: N/A
Contact Person: N/A
Source: The Brunei Times
When: 26/12/2013

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