Disability and rehabilitation

Pacific Disability Ministers Meeting hosted in Papua New Guinea

On 3-4 October the 2nd Pacific Disability Ministers Meeting took place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, under the theme "Progressing Disability Inclusive Development in the Pacific."

The meeting was officially opened by The Right Honourable Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neill, who announced his government's commitment to ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and its intentions to develop and implement a national strategy for disability-inclusive development.

Ministers from Australia, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and senior officials from Micronesia, Tonga, and Vanuatu attended this regional meeting. Representatives of the Pacific Disability Forum and Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) and development partners from the Australian Agency for International Development, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community/Regional Rights Resource Team, and several UN agencies were also in attendance.

The ministers reviewed progress towards an inclusive Pacific region and discussed partnerships between government and DPOs, as well as emerging issues such as non-communicable disease (NCD) related disability.

In the outcomes document, the ministers agreed to engage and ensure the full and effective participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations at all levels of decision-making in Pacific Island countries. They called for the ratification of the CRPD and for adding disability-inclusive development targets and indicators to the Post-2015 Development Agenda/Sustainable Development Goals.

The ministers also pledged support to WHO and partners to undertake country and sectoral level workshops in priority areas and utilize the findings of the World report on disability as a guide.