WHO hosts a meeting of interested parties in Disability and Rehabilitation
On 14 September, a meeting of interested parties in Disability and Rehabilitation was held at WHO headquarters in Geneva. The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Don Mackay from New Zealand and Dr Etienne Krug, Director, WHO Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability. There were 37 participants including representatives from the International Disability Alliance, NGOs in disability and development, professional organizations, Member States and other departments in WHO. The objectives of the meeting were to share information on the progress of activities and recent developments related to WHO's work on disability and rehabilitation and to provide a forum for partners to identify priorities that WHO can help address in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
It was agreed that the direction adopted by WHO on disability and rehabilitation is consistent with the priorities envisaged by the partners. Partners made concrete recommendations for WHO to consider to enhance compliance with the Convention notably ensuing disability is mainstreamed within WHO's policies and programmes and that persons with disabilities can access WHO's employment opportunities, information and infrastructure on an equal basis with persons without disabilities. The World Report on Disability and Rehabilitation, was highlighted as an important opportunity for further collaboration with the partners.
Dr Krug thanked the participants for challenging WHO to do more and encouraged them to help WHO find ways to continue the dialogue and collaboration to further the implementation of the Convention. Ambassador Mackay closed by reiterating that WHO is one of the most proactive specialized UN agencies working on the implementation of the Convention, and urged all present to keep up the strong push for implementation, which will strengthen partnership and cooperation.