Persons with Disabilities Full and Equal Participation Key to Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

December 2, 2022

Workshop “The role and contribution of persons with disabilities in Sustainable Development Goals” at Green One UN House on 2 December 2022

UNDP Viet Nam

Ha Noi 2 December 2022 - “To fulfil the pledge of leaving no one behind, it is critical to ensure the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society. Equally important is to create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities”.

This was highlighted by UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam Pauline Tamesis in her opening remarks at the workshop: “The role and contribution of persons with disabilities in Sustainable Development Goals” held in Ha Noi this morning.

The workshop was co-hosted by UNDP, UNFPA, and UNICEF - the three implementing agencies of the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) project, with representatives from the Ministry of Labor-Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Viet Nam Federation on Disability (VFD), organizations of and for Persons with Disabilities, non-governmental organizations, and researchers. It aimed to encourage stakeholders to value the unique contributions of persons with disabilities in accelerating the implementation of the SDGs.

This year marks 30th anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December). The theme for this year is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world”.

This year also marks the eighth year since Viet Nam ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The UN Resident Coordinator praised Viet Nam for having made great strides in its efforts to promote the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities.  According to the latest National Report submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in the last decade, Viet Nam has made efforts to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities.  For example, many buildings and public transportations have been equipped with accessible facilities to ensure the equal participation for all. 

“This could not be achieved without a strong and committed government and dedicated representative organizations of persons with disabilities – the Viet Nam Federation on Disability (VFD) and the organizations of persons with disabilities, the academic institutions, the civil society, the media as well as the private sector partners,” said Ms. Tamesis.

However, challenges remain. According to the UN Situational Analysis on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was released today in Viet Nam and globally, 17.8 percent of persons with disabilities lived in households with multidimensional poverty, compared to the national average of 10.9 percent. Many schools, especially those in the rural areas, still lack accessible facilities and trained teachers who are prepared for children with special needs in the classrooms. And many companies are not equipped with the facilities and technologies to include employees with disabilities.

“With appropriate support, our staff with disabilities work as productively and effectively as others (oftentimes more!),” UNDP Resident Representative Ramla Khalidi shared her thought on the performance of UNDP staff with disabilities. “Hiring people with disabilities should be seen neither as charity, nor as a favor, but as a right that bears benefits for everyone. The knowledge, skills, and perspectives of our colleagues with disabilities bring great value to the design and implementation of our programmes, in areas related to inclusive e-government or user-centric design in service delivery.”

This year, the UNPRPD project has played an important role in shifting attitudes and building the capacity of key policy influencers and service providers, advising on laws and policies through evidence-based research, as well as raising the public awareness on disability inclusion and equality.

UNFPA Representative for Viet Nam Naomi Kitahara stressed: "Young people with disability must be able to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights towards their bodily autonomy and live a life free of any discrimination or violence. The UN Viet Nam is fully committed to supporting people with disabilities towards the accessible and equitable world, and Viet Nam."

Participants in the workshop highly appreciated the active engagement, resilience, and significant contributions to national and global development of the people with disabilities community. The workshop will contribute towards further multi-stakeholder collaborative actions on creating a more inclusive, accessible, and discrimination-free society for persons with disabilities in Viet Nam.


Media contacts:

Nguyen Viet Lan UNDP

Dinh Thu Huong UNFPA  

Tran Phuong Anh UNICEF