National launches of the World report on disability
The World report on disability launched globally on 9 June 2011 in New York has been followed up with national launches in many countries including Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Finland, Ghana, Netherlands, Myanmar, Philippines, Togo, Turkmenistan, and the United States of America as well as in the European Parliament. Some of the launches carried out in November and December are as follows:
On 24 November 2011, in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar the World report on disability was launched by Union Minister for Health His Excellency Professor Pe Thet Khin. The event was attended by representatives from the Ministries of Social Welfare, Education, and Labour, and representatives of Myanmar disabled people's organizations and other civil society organizations. The launch was followed by a workshop to address disability as a cross sectoral issue as well as specifically on the needs of women with disabilities in the context of reproductive health. Recommendation for concrete actions such as including representatives from organization of disabled people's organization on the reproductive health technical working group was one such recommendation.
In Beijing, China on 6 December 2011, the Chinese Disabled People's Federation (CDPF) hosted the launch of the World report on disability and the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Guidelines in the Great Hall of the People. Distinguished guest Vice Minister of Health Mr Ma Xiaowei affirmed the government's commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities; Mr Wang Xinxian, President of the CDPF, discussed the operation of CBR in China; while UN Special Rapporteur Mr Shuaib Chalken spoke about how the two documents would provide practical guidance in implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
On 15 December 2011, in Ashkabat, Turkmenistan, the World report on disability was launched by Dr Dovlet Orazov, Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry, with Dr Bahtygul Karriyeva, WHO Country Manager; and Menahem Prywes, Senior Economist World Bank, with support from the United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF. The event was followed by a national workshop on disability. One of the areas for action is the development of a five-year strategic plan for disability, with indictors at different levels, a coordination mechanism across sectors and a monitoring framework.
In Helsinki, Finland, on 13 December 2011, the World report on disability was presented in the context of a symposium hosted by the Finnish Disability and Development Partnership (FIDIDA). The event was introduced by the Minister for International Development, Heidi Hautala, and the report was presented by Dr Tom Shakespeare, WHO, with commentary from leading Finnish disabled and deaf advocates. Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health summarized how Finland was implementing the Convention and responding to the recommendations of the World report on disability.
The goal of national launches and policy dialogues is to help WHO member states to use the World report on disability as a tool to strengthen their domestic policy and provision and/or international development work. The programme of national events will continue in 2012 with support from WHO country and regional offices, the World Bank and other partners.