Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is commemorated every year on 3rd December and this year it is celebrated with the theme “Achieving 17 goals for the future we want”. The theme noted the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.
The Pacific Disability Forum(PDF) in commemorating this very important day for persons with disabilities call on governments, donors, development partners and disability stakeholders to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in sustainable developments frameworks and initiatives. Persons with disabilities in the Pacific need inclusion, full and effective participation and recognition of their rights. They need full enjoyment of all their human rights, fundamental freedoms and respect for their inherent dignity without discrimination.
According to UNESCAP Disability at a Glance 2012, an estimated 17% of people in the Pacific have some form of disability. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) estimated that a total of 10,250,400 people lives in the Pacific, hence, 1.7 million is estimated to be persons with disabilities. Therefore, there is a need for the mainstreaming of disability issues in all national and regional strategies of sustainable development.
In ensuring that these 1.7 million persons with disabilities are included in the national and regional strategies of development they need to be part of the process of planning, developing, implementing and monitoring these strategies. Hence, the involvement and inclusion of persons with disabilities, their families and their representative organisation in all process of development is inevitable, if we are to guarantee disability inclusiveness and equity.
Furthermore, disability inclusive development needs more resources from government, donors and stakeholders in the region to advance the work on disability inclusiveness and equity. Resources needed to be mobilised in disability inclusive development to guarantee the achievement of the 17 goals for persons with disabilities.
PDF acknowledged that Pacific leaders have laid the platform in achieving the 17 goals for persons with disabilities, in adopting the Pacific Framework on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2016 – 2025 (PFRPD) and the rapid signing and ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). These commitments from regional leaders need to be supported by the mobilisation of required resources to make all human rights real for all persons with disabilities. Furthermore, it needs to be translated into national legislations, frameworks, policies, programs and actions that purge the discrimination and barriers experienced by persons with disabilities in enjoying all their human rights.
PDF reiterates that while governments leadership is needed in ensuring the achievement of the 17 goals for the future we want for all persons with disabilities, other stakeholders also play a crucial role in guaranteeing that we build towards a more inclusive and equitable Pacific for all.
PDF will continue to advocate for persons with disabilities inclusion, full and effective participation and full recognition and enjoyment of all their human rights.