One in every six persons in Asia and the Pacific has some form of disability: 650 million men, women and children. The number is expected to rise over the next decades due to population ageing, natural disasters, chronic health conditions, road traffic injuries, poor working conditions and other factors.
The Incheon Strategy will enable the Asian and Pacific region to track progress towards improving the quality of life, and the fulfilment of the rights, of the region’s 650 million persons with disabilities, most of whom live in poverty.
On 13 March 2014, Georgia became the 34th country in Asia and the Pacific, and the 143rd in the world, to join the group of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006, through its resolution 61/106, and came into force on 3 May 2008, upon the 20th ratification.
More than 65 government representatives and key stakeholders from civil society and academia in Bhutan attended the national launch of the Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real for Persons with Disabilities. The Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Ms. Sangay Zam, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Education, pledged Bhutan’s commitment to successfully implement the Incheon Strategy and to ensure that all stakeholders work together to achieve the goals and targets set out in the Strategy.
H.E. Mr. Elbegdorj Tsakhiagiin, the President of Mongolia, pledged the nation’s commitment to the implementation of the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Ulaanbaatar on 26 March 2014. During the national event held at the Government Building, over 800 participants, representing Government, organizations of persons with disabilities, NGOs and the private sector in Mongolia, attended this high-level launch of the Incheon Strategy.
The Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022, was inaugurated at Incheon, Republic of Korea, with the mandate of providing technical advice and support for the full and effective implementation of the Decade.
As an ESCAP advisory and governance mechanism for the present Decade, the Working Group membership is characterized by equal representation from governments and civil society organizations. Its 30 members were decided upon by the Commission at its 69th session in May 2013.
The inaugural ceremony for the ESCAP-Sasakawa Award for Disability-Inclusive Business in Asia and the Pacific presented its first Winners today. Three companies were awarded for outstanding achievement in responding to the needs of persons with disabilities in their business operations.
Experts from government and young people with disabilities from approximately 15 countries in Asia-Pacific met in Bangkok at the Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (GITC). The event, which was held from 9 to 10 October at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), focussed on strategies for strengthening IT skills of youth with disabilities as a critical requirement for enhancing their access to information and communication services on an equal basis with others.
ESCAP Champions and Promoters for the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022, committed to collective effort in accelerating implementation of the Incheon Strategy to ‘Make the Right Real’ for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, the guiding policy document of the Decade.
An independent international Jury met on 25 October at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok to select the winners of the ESCAP-Sasakawa Award for Disability-Inclusive Business in Asia and the Pacific. The Jury selected a winner in each of the three Award categories - multinational enterprise, national or subnational enterprise and entrepreneurial business. The winner of the entrepreneurial category will receive a cash prize of up to US $100,000 to further expand their existing initiative.
The ESCAP-Sasakawa Award for disability-inclusive business in Asia-Pacific will recognize businesses that provide enabling working environments, deliver inclusive products and services and/or are innovative in their approach to disability inclusiveness. The award is open to entrepreneurs, national enterprises and multinational enterprises based and operating in any of the 58 countries and territories of the ESCAP region. Nominations for the Award closed on 19 August 2013. Winners will be announced in mid-November 2013.