Disabled people key partners in efforts for sustainable development in Việt Nam: UN

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A man with disabilities works in his field in central Nghệ An Province. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The United Nations launched a joint project to ensure better rights for people with disabilities on Wednesday, aiming to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) through effective collaboration.

Launched just before the World Day of Social Justice (February 20, 2022), the Joint-UN Project brings together the expertise and experience of three agencies (UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP) in supporting national and provincial authorities and organisations of persons with disabilities to support multi-sectoral interventions in support of CRPD fulfilment in Việt Nam.

The project aims to serve as a vehicle for multi-stakeholder dialogue and partnership to ensure results and impact towards a CRPD compliance environment in Việt Nam, which is fundamental to ensuring the principles of leaving no one behind and building a more inclusive society for all.

Addressing the launch, Vũ Thị Kim Hoa, Deputy Director of the Department of Child Affairs, said: “Việt Nam still struggle to transform the provision of the CRPD into concrete policies, systems, and services.”

The UN joint project will help with capacity-building activities and collaboration on the essential ‘pre-conditions’ that are indispensable for addressing the needs and opportunities of people with disabilities in public policymaking and programming across all sectors.”

In the next two years, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF as partner agencies, will work towards building the capacity of organisations of persons with disabilities and policymakers on CRPD-compliant policy making and implementation.

They also target identifying and addressing gaps in the achievement of essential building blocks of CRPD implementation in development and humanitarian programmes.

The organisations will also strengthen the disability-inclusive monitoring and accountability of Việt Nam’s National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2021-2025 through the lenses of the CRPD framework.

According to UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen, people with disability account for 7 per cent of Việt Nam’s population.

“We as UN agencies recognise persons with disabilities as key partners in our efforts toward sustainable development in Việt Nam, not just as beneficiaries,” she said.

“Persons with disabilities should not be only engaged in disability-focused policies, their rights and voices should be integrated into Việt Nam’s programs for implementing the National Socio-Economic Development Strategy.

“UNDP will work closely with all partners to empower people with disability to enable their full participation in the law-making process from the planning stages. Together we will act to leverage a multi-sectoral approach that addresses fundamental issues needed to drive systemic and effective changes towards disability inclusion.”

UNFPA Representative in Việt Nam Naomi Kitahara said: “I personally and strongly believe in the power of people with disabilities, as a solution for societal change, as a solution for policy agenda, as a solution to lead Việt Nam to achieve SDGs, and as a solution to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.

“Their access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, as well as comprehensive sexuality education and life skills education, is essential, so as not to leave them behind in SDGs agenda.”

UNICEF Deputy Representative in Việt Nam Lesley Miller said: “We are confident that this project will advance our work further, by building capacity to transform Việt Nam’s commitment to the UN Convention into a reality through inclusive policies, systems and services that benefit all men, women and children with disabilities”.

The joint project is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, who are longstanding donors of the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

The government has been strongly committed to ensuring that people with disabilities can fully participate in society and equally enjoy their fundamental rights.

It has enacted the Law on Persons with Disabilities since 2010 and is going to revise it in upcoming years.

Việt Nam also ratified the CRPD in 2015, and various master plans and policies have been issued to guide the CRPD and the legal implementation. — VNS

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