NEWS: Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum Founded

Posted on 8 April 2008. Filed under: Human Rights, News, South Asian Region, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ghulam Nabi Nizamani has asked that people circulate the following press release.

COMMONWEALTH DISABLED PEOPLES’ FORUM

Press Release

A New Voice Shouts to the Commonwealth –
Nothing About us Without Us.

Disabled youth and adult people from 16 Commonwealth countries came together from 15-17 March, 2008 in London to launch a unique Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (1), the purposes of which will be to provide a link between disabled people’s organisations in all Commonwealth countries and all the political structures of the Commonwealth.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2007 the civil society challenge to CHOGM was to mainstream disability in sustainable development, to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and to adopt disability inclusive policies. This cannot be achieved without a strong, democratic forum of disabled youth and adults to ensure implementation.

We had a vibrant and dynamic series of meetings to consolidate the vision, constitution and activities of the Forum (2). The youth met separately to devise their own creative methods of self representation and organisation. We came together in a final agreement of how to go forward together. It is essential that the voice of young disabled people is heard clearly in the work of the CDPF. They are the future leaders and builders of our shared vision of a Commonwealth built on equality, human rights and respect for diversity.

The major focus of our work in the next two years, including a major conference before CHOGM in 2009, will be to ensure that Commonwealth countries sign, ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. As Rachel Kachaje said at the Launch of the CDPF, hosted by the Commonwealth Foundation at Marlborough House,
‘Disabled people see that hope springs out of the convention – hope for a new, inclusive world where disabled people can be seen as fully human’

We, All Sanghar Handicaps’ Association Pakistan are very proud to have part of this exciting new beginning and look forward to working with our disabled colleagues to ensure our full inclusion in all the nations of our shared Commonwealth.

For further information contact:
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
South Asia /South East Asia Regional Representative
Bakhoro Road Sanghar-68100, Pakistan. (3)
Ph # +92-333-2916281
Email: ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com (4)

(1) This meeting was funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and ADD.
(2) Officers elected were: Chair: James Mwanda (Uganda), Vice Chair: George Daniel (Tinidad & Tobago), Secretary: Javed Abidi (India), Treasurer: Richard Rieser (UK), Women’s Representative: Rachel Kachaje, (Malawi) Youth Representatives: Laura Kanusu (Uganda)
George Kasara (Kenya), Regional Representatives: Ghulam Nabi Nizaamani (Pakistan), Lesley Emmanuel (Antigua), Setareki Macanawai (Fiji), Steve Estey (Canada) Thomas Ongolo (South Africa).
(3) The registered office of the CDPF will be in India and there will be a liaison office in the UK to work directly with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Foundation.
(4) This email address can be changed after website of CDPF.



In addition to the above press release, Ghulam Nabi Nizamani also made the following note in mid March:

The following countries from South Asia and South East Asia are member countries of Commonwealth. These Countries are invited to submit application for Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum (CDPF) Country Focal Point.
Bangladesh
Brunei Darussalam
India
Malaysia
Maldives
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka

The Organization must be National Level Organization in respective country if in any country there will be no National Organization we will support to encourage to estabilish National organization in that country. Please also send establishment date of Organization, Network in the Country, Some credible work done in past. Please send information by mail or email before the first week of April 2008.

Cheers!
Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
Regional Representative CDPF
South and South East Asia

Note: We have no contact from Brunei Darussalam please help us for finding National organization there.



Thank you to Ghulam Nabi Nizamani for sharing the above press release. Any inquiries should please be emailed to him directly at ghulamnabi.nizamani@gmail.com.

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MEMORANDUM, Commonwealth Disabled People’s Conference 2007

Posted on 22 November 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Commonwealth Nations, Events and Conferences, Guest Blogger, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Commonwealth Disabled People’s Conference met in early November in Kampala, Uganda. The following memorandum was issued at that conference.


Dear Colleagues,

It’s my pleasure to forward to you a memorandum of decisions made at the recently concluded Commonwealth Disabled peoples’ Conference. Attached to this memorandum is a shorter memorandum which was prepared specifically for sending to CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting).

I hope these documents will enable those who are in a position to lobby their respective delegations to CHOGM to raise disability issues during the meeting.

Yours Sincerely,

James Mwandha.


Draft

MEMORANDUM OF THE COMMONWEALTH DISABLED PEOPLES’ CONFERENCE CONVENED IN KAMPALA FROM 4TH – 7TH NOVEMBER 2007

Preamble

The Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Conference convened in Kampala, Uganda from the 4th -7th November 2007;

NOTING with appreciation the theme of this year’s CHOGM, ‘Transforming Commonwealth Societies to achieve political, economic and human development.’

AWARE that Persons with disabilities are among the poorest of the poor and the most socially excluded,

RECOGNISING the diversity of Persons with Disabilities,

EMPHASISING the importance of mainstreaming disability issues as an integral part of relevant strategies of sustainable development,

NOTING the adoption by the 61st UN General Assembly of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,

APPRECIATING that India and Jamaica have already ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,

RECOGNISING the importance of International cooperation for improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities in every country particularly in developing countries,

The Conference hereby resolves as follows:

1.0 APPRECIATION

1. Appreciates the Government of Uganda for hosting the Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Conference and in particular the support given by Honourable Sayda Bbumba, Minister of, Gender, Labour and Social Development and Honourable Sulaiman Madada, Minister of State for Disability and Elderly Affairs.

2. Thanks to the Right Honourable Rebecca Kadaga, Deputy Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament for officiating at the opening of the Conference and Honourable Okello Oryem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Relations for performing the closing ceremony and offering to submit the conference memorandum to the Ugandan Head of State.

3. Commends the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK Government for sending a representative to the conference as an observer.

4. Commends further the Uganda disability movement for the initiative taken to hold this first ever conference of Disabled People in the Commonwealth and the excellent arrangements and the hospitality accorded to the delegates.

5. Appreciates the resource persons for the excellent presentations made at the Conference and at the side events.

6. Notes with appreciation the countries that sent delegates to the conference namely: Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, and observers from Rwanda and Sudan.

7. Recognises the participation of the President of the World Blind Union, the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities, the East African Federation of the Disabled, the representative of the President of the World Federation of the Deaf, representatives of Leonard Cheshire Foundation International, and the office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights.

2.0 CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS TO CHOGM

8. Submits a short memorandum, appearing as annexture 1 to this memorandum, to CHOGM through the Uganda Minister of State for International Relations.

9. Circulates the short memorandum to as many disabled people and their organisations in the Commonwealth as possible and call upon them to use it to lobby their respective delegations to advocate for disability issues in CHOGM.

3.0 COMMONWEALTH DISABLED PEOPLES’ FORUM

10. Establishes the Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Forum with Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (DPOs) in the Commonwealth constituting its membership.

11. A steering committee consisting of Honourable James Mwandha (Uganda) Chair, Mr. Mark Harrison (UK), Mr. Thomas On’golo, Secretariat of the African Decade of Disabled Persons (South Africa), a representative from Canada and a representative from India.

12. The steering committee to draw up their terms of reference for the establishment of the forum and convene a forum meeting within a period of ten months.

13. The steering committee to dialogue with the Commonwealth Secretariat and register the forum with the Commonwealth Foundation.

4.0 EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION

14. Recommends that data collection at all levels should include disaggregated data concerning disability to enable Governments to plan effectively for the inclusion of disabled people.

15. Calls upon all governments to pass laws that promote equality and inclusion of disabled people in society and do away with laws that perpetuate discrimination and exclusion.

16. Appeals to Governments and donors to resource DPOs to publicize the convention, sensitize the general public and help to implement the Convention.

5.0 ROLE OF GOVERNMENTS, DISABLED PEOPLES’ ORGANISATIONS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING OF THE CONVENTION

A. Governments.

17. Sign and ratify the Convention and enact laws to domesticate the convention and amend all laws, which negatively impact on disabled people.

18. Translate the Convention document into the local languages and Sign Language to facilitate wider understanding of the rights of disabled people.

19. Put in place programmes that create greater awareness in communities and within government systems relating to disability rights, and promote efforts that encourage positive attitudes towards disabled people.

20. Mainstream disability in social, economic and political programmes and provide for representation of disabled people in the Parliaments, Local Councils and Statutory organizations.

21. Provide access to rehabilitation, education, training, employment opportunities, cultural and sports activities, technical aids, Sign Language Interpretation Services and other assistive devices to facilitate mobility and independent daily living of disabled people.

22. Develop special programmes to cater for the special needs of women, children and the elderly with disabilities.

23. Strengthen DPOs and support creation of new ones, and promote representation of disabled people at local, national and international levels.

24. Include a disability component in all Government budgets and budgetary allocations across all sectors and in all local governments and also to give visibility to disability in all government plans, programmes and activities.

25. Build alliances with other countries, multilateral institutions and donor organizations to promote international cooperation in research, sharing information on best practices and funding for disability programmes.

26. Disability as a cross cutting issue should be mainstreamed and prioritized in all the development planning, implementation, and monitoring processes of governments as a means of achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs).

27. Governments should take special measures to protect persons with disabilities in all situations of conflicts, wars and catastrophes to alleviate the grave suffering caused to them.

B. Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (DPOs)

28. Lobby their Governments to sign and ratify the convention.

29. Once the convention enters into force, lobby Governments and Parliament to enact laws to domesticate it.

30. Ensure that disability issues are fully covered in the countries’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) where applicable.

31. Make alliances with other Civil Society organizations and create a common platform that includes disability concerns.

32. Advocate for budgetary allocations at national level across all sectors and at all local levels.

33. Participate actively in the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the convention at all levels.

34. Partner with the media for dissemination of the convention and other information relating to disability rights.

6.0 MONITORING: NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL

35. Monitoring is an important aspect of the process of realizing the rights of people with disabilities.

36. Governments should establish monitoring institutions that are well resourced and independent.

37. Monitoring institutions should have adequate and effective representation by different categories of people with disabilities.

38. The monitoring tools should be clear and shared with the key stakeholders.

7.0 INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT

39. Development partners should provide technical and financial assistance to DPOs to address the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

40. International Donors should ensure that people with disabilities are involved and benefiting from all bilateral and multilateral funded programmes.

41. Disabled people and disability issues must be included in every development cooperation agenda of international development partners.

42. The international development partners should promote south – south cooperation among DPOs and transfer resources directly to them.

43. International development cooperation/ partnership should promote capacity building and technology support on disability issues to national Governments in the south in line with the UN convention.

44. Development partners and donors should make funding conditional to addressing the concerns of disabled people and ensure that recipient countries of their development aid mainstream issues of disability in their plans and programmes.

45. Investors and service providers should take into account the needs of disabled people when designing their projects.

Dated this 7th day of November 2007


ANNEXURE 1

MEMORANDUM TO CHOGM

Commonwealth Disabled Peoples’ Conference
4th – 7th November 2007, Hotel Africana, Kampala, Uganda
Final Communiqué

This conference decides to send the following statement to the Commonwealth Heads of Government’s:

Resolution From the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Conference to the CHOGM 2007

Preamble
NOTING with appreciation the theme of this years CHOGM,

AWARE that Persons with disabilities are among the poorest of the poor and the most socially excluded,

EMPHASING the importance of mainstreaming disability issues as an integral part of relevant strategies of sustainable development,

NOTING the adoption by the 61st UN General Assembly of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,

APPRECIATING that India and Jamaica have already ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,

RECOGNISING the diversity of Persons with Disabilities,

RECOGNISING FURTHER the importance of International cooperation for improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities in every country particularly in developing countries,

Hereby recommends to the Commonwealth Heads of Government, meeting in Kampala from 23rd – 25th November 2007:

That all Commonwealth countries:

1. Ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and its Optional Protocol.

2. Adopt disability as a crosscutting issue that should be mainstreamed in domestic policy and planning.

3. Develop disability polices and programmes to cater for the concerns of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in line with article 32 of the UN Convention on International Development Cooperation.

Adopted at Kampala, this 7th day of November 2007


Thank you to James Mwandha at the Action on Disability and Development Uganda Programme (ADD Uganda) for granting permission to post this memorandum at We Can Do.


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Commonwealth Disabled People’s Conference (Uganda, November 2007)

Posted on 19 August 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Commonwealth Nations, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , |

Edited Nov 22 ’07 to add this paragraph: This conference is now over. The conference participants issued a memorandum which has been posted at https://wecando.wordpress.com/2007/11/22/memorandum-commonwealth-disabled-peoples-conference-2007/.

This conference announcement was recently brought to my attention; for people interested in disability rights and the political, economic, and human development of disabled people in the commonwealth countries:

From: NKWANGU ROBERT
Date: August 14, 2007 9:09:52 AM EDT
Subject: COMMONWEALTH DISABLED PEOPLE’S CONFERENCE (NOVEMBER 2007)

Dear all,
Greetings from the deaf community in Uganda.
 
This is to bring to your attention the impending Commonwealth Disabled People’s Conference (DPC), 2007.
 
The conference will take place from 14th to 17th November in Kampala, Uganda – East Africa at Hotel Africana.
 
Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) in Uganda, in conjunction with Action on Disability and Development (ADD), an International non-government organization, have realized the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that is going to take place in Uganda from 23rd to 25th November, 2007, under the theme: “Transforming Commonwealth Societies to achieve political, economic and human development” is a great opportunity for the disability fraternity in common wealth countries as it comes in the wake of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. The CHOGM offers the opportunity to influence heads of governments and to initiate collective action for its ratification and implementation.
 
Uganda is currently one of the leading countries in legislations and policies that cater for the rights of PWDs. Its pertinent that Kampala CHOGM will initiate the inclusion of disability on the commonwealth agenda making it a part of the commonwealth member states programs.
 
The commonwealth has 52 member states. The commonwealth has two components – the official and unofficial components. The official component consists of a series of official inter-governmental meetings. The unofficial component is made up of programs by Civil Society Organizations.
 
The Disabled People’s Conference (DPC). The first ever of its kind in liaison with CHOGM will be held just before the Commonwealth People’s Forum and the CHOGM with a view of making disability a part of the commonwealth agenda.
 
The theme of the conference is: “Promoting Disability Rights: the inclusive way of transforming commonwealth countries to achieve political, economic and human development”.
 
The conference is aimed at bringing leaders of the disabled in the commonwealth with a view to:
1 Influence heads of states and commonwealth governments to incorporate disability issues in their national programs.
2 Raising CHOGM awareness about the Convention on the Rights of the Disabled persons and the need for its ratification and implementation.
3 Creating an understanding that poverty cannot be eradicated in the commonwealth countries unless disabled people are explicitly included in country development strategies.
4 Establishing a forum foe disabled people in the commonwealth as a continuing feature of the commonwealth family.
 
The purpose of this communication therefore is to request you to participate in this conference as a one sure way of uplifting the status of the disabled people in the commonwealth and the rest of the world.
 
Alternatively, your support to this event will be highly appreciated.
 
Waiting for your positive response.
 
Thank you.
 
Yours
ROBERT NKWANGU,
Conference Organizing Committee
Representative for the Deaf persons.
Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD)
P.O.Box 7339,
Kampala, Uganda
East Africa.


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