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'Positive disability changes'

Mere Naleba
Monday, December 04, 2017

Fijians across the country can bring positive changes to the lives of Fijians living with disabilities.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said last week while attending a High Level Intergovernmental Meeting on the midpoint review of the Asia and the Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities.

She said the political will and commitment to address the rights-based and inclusive-based approach was the driver of the acceleration towards the implementation of the Incheon Strategy.

Mrs Vuniwaqa called on the participants at the event to unite and ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (UNCRPD)

"This political will needs to begin with the ratification of the UNCRPD," she said.

"This international commitment must be supported by coherent and complementing national laws."

Mrs Vuniwaqa said Fiji ratified the UNCRPD in March this year.

She said by the time the convention was ratified, the country already had policies and laws which were driving the national initiatives in these areas.

She said one of the many steps taken to address this was the establishment of a dedicated unit within the ministry, focusing on rights of persons with disabilities in Fiji.

'The realisation of the aims of national policies and laws on the rights of people living with disabilities must be complemented by adequate resources.

"The Fijian Government has done this by making specific budget allocations to the relevant government ministries, authorities and NGOs to make the right deal for persons living with disabilities."

The meeting was held in Beijing in China.

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