The National- Thursday, February 10, 2011
By ALISON ANIS
PEOPLE with disabilities (PWD) in Papua New Guinea will be happy to know that the government has approved the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Reports from the Prime Minister’s Department yesterday confirmed that national executive council met on Jan 27 and endorsed the signing of the convention on the rights of PWDs.
“The commitment by the government marks an important milestone for persons with disabilities in PNG. However, we still yet to see the legal commitment in ratifying or implementing the convention,” chairman of the National Board for Disable Persons (NBDP) Brown Kapi said.
The document will be brought to the cabinet that will then meet and deliberate on the issue.
“I hope that the Minister for Foreign Affairs Don Polye takes the document to the floor of parliament next week and make it a key discussion so parliament can sign and ratify the convention at the same time,” Kapi said adding that, in doing so, PNG government is obliged to meet and honour international requirements as well as localising the implementation of the PWDs and recognising them as integral part of development.
Kapi said they would continue to push quietly for the ratification of the convention and for a stand alone legislation to support, promote and protect the rights of PWDs
The Australian government donated an additional four-year grant to the total of K8.3 million on Dec 3 to assist PNG government through the Department of Community Development to ratify the convention of the rights of people with disabilities in PNG.
National advisory committee on disability executive officer Adrian Winnie said the Department of Community Development and disability and elderly persons division within the department in partnership with the departments for Justice and Attorney-General, Foreign Affairs and Trade and NBDP would be doing more awareness on the convention and its implication for PNG.
“This is one of the priority area that we will be pushing for. The challenge is to filter this down from the national down to the rural majority. And media plays an important role in that through the radio,” Winnie said.