Viet Nam at UN High-level Meeting: Global Development Goals Must Include Persons with Disabilities

23 Sep 2013

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Ha Noi - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is among the world leaders who will join the High-level Meeting on Disability and Development in New York later this week. The meeting already started today and will consider and adopt a resolution that calls for disability-inclusive development - development that affords persons with disabilities opportunities for obtaining full and productive employment and decent work and access to basic social services.

Proposed outcome
In the proposed outcome document for the Meeting, “The Way Forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond,” which has already been negotiated and will be submitted to Member States for adoption, countries reaffirm their resolve to work together for the advancement of the rights of all persons with disabilities, which are deeply rooted in the goals of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is estimated that 15 per cent of the world’s population, or one billion people, live with a disability, 80 per cent of whom live in developing countries. The outcome document stresses the importance of ensuring accessibility for and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development and of giving due consideration to all persons with disabilities in the emerging post-2015 United Nations development agenda.

The outcome document calls for the further engagement of Member States, the United Nations and all its agencies, and the Secretary-General to realize the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities towards 2015 and beyond.  It also encourages the international community “to seize every opportunity to include disability” in the global development agenda and to give due consideration to disability in the emerging post 2015 UN development agenda.

Viet Nam’s commitment
Viet Nam has been carrying out the groundwork necessary to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities early next year. The large number of persons with disabilities in Viet Nam makes it an issue high on the national agenda.  

A recent analysis from Viet Nam Household Living Standards Survey based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) suggests that as many as 15.3 percent of Viet Nam’s population living with disability. One of them, 16 year old Nguyen Phuong Anh, well known throughout Viet Nam as ‘Crystal’ from her success on Viet Nam's Got Talent, will participate in several UN disability-related activities in New York to mark the historic occasion of this meeting.

“I am beyond honored to be at this UN high level meeting and related events. Of one thing I am certain, that I will do my best to use my voice to speak up for young people with disabilities. I want people to know that we – people with disabilities – have abilities, and our potential should always be seen before the disability” said Phuong Anh.

Move from commitment to action
According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “A world that recognizes the rights of the disabled, ensures that people with disabilities can be productive members of their communities and nations, and provides an inclusive and accessible environment, is a world that will benefit all of us -- with or without disabilities.”

He added that, while several States have taken major steps to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, “for too many persons with disabilities, stigma, discrimination and exclusion remain a fact of everyday life.” The challenge of the High-level Meeting on Disability and Development, he said, “is to energize the international community to move from commitment to action.  As we strive to accelerate our work for the Millennium Development Goals, and as we consider the post-2015 development framework, greater recognition must be given to the issue of disability in sustainable, inclusive and equitable development.”

More information?
For further information, please read the press release, the outcome document, additional information on the High-level Meeting, and background information on the High-level Meeting or watch the video featuring Crystal and Stevie Wonder.