UNO Almaty reaches out to students in Taraz

26 March 2013

On 26 March, the UN Office in Almaty partnered with "MODI", an NGO of disabled persons and Taraz State University (TarGU) to organize a round table discussion with students on key UN issues. 

Held in the city of Taraz, the dialogue focussed around the rights of the disabled, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN Enable); the post-2015 development agenda, encompassing the World We Want initiative and the commemoration of Slave Remembrance Day, which touched on the importance of tolerance, the dangers of racism and prejudice. The students also discussed the UN Secretary-General's Academic Impact initiative, which they found very interesting.

Persons with Disabilities at center of Human Rights Day

10 December 2012

On 10 December, a day-long event at one of the most popular shopping centers in the nation’s capital, Pondok Indah Mall in South Jakarta, attracted hundreds of holiday shoppers to view art displays and listen to musical performances by persons with disabilities. 

Activities were also included in the commemoration, such as painting, caricature drawing and musical performances by disabled artists -- including local groups Diferensia Band, Jamaica Cafe, Anton, and Teguh -- as well as Unisexx dancers and the singer Angel Simbolon.

To promote the right of persons with disabilities to be included in decision-making processes, the event was organized by Thisable Entreprise -- a local non-profit organization – with the support of the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Jakarta, the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). 

Discrimination against persons with disabilities in Indonesia is prohibited by several laws, but many of the provisions of these laws are not fully implemented, say disability rights advocates.

“Everyone should be given equal rights and access to enjoy a better life,” said Murdaya Widyawimarta Poo (Chairman of Disaster Resource Partnership Indonesia, CEO of Pondok Indah Mall and former Chairman of the Special Committee on Anti-Ethnic and Race Discrimination at the Indonesian House of Representative) in his opening remarks.  “ With the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” he added, “Indonesia has started to change its paradigm towards disability rights -- which hardly existed before.”

The Secretary-General’s message on Human Rights Day was delivered by the Director UNIC Jakarta, Michele Zaccheo. Before reading the Secretary-General’s message he spoke in Bahasa Indonesia to urge participants to “strive to achieve the goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Indonesia ratified last year, to eliminate discrimination and exclusion, and to create societies that value diversity and inclusion.” Also present in delivering remarks was Charaf Ahmimed, Head of Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO Jakarta.

Michiko Miyamoto, Deputy Director of ILO Jakarta, spoke of the ILO’s efforts to bridge relations between employers  and persons with disabilities in order to promote their greater inclusion in the work force in Indonesia.  The ILO’s “Better Work Indonesia” programme provided  a photo exhibit showcasing persons with disabilities making their contributions in the workplace. Ms. Miyamoto was joined in a talk-show by Eva Rahmi Kasim from the Ministry of Social Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and Angki Yudhistia, CEO of Thisable Enterprise, both successful professional women with disabilities.

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Including People with Disabilities in Community Life

07 December 2012

Voicing our heartfelt gratitude to the world’s largest minority – people with disabilities - for being a source of strength and inspiration for the whole universe, the UN Office (UNO) in Azerbaijan joined a global movement to create societies that value diversity and inclusion.

In light of this, a Conference on the rehabilitation and social protection of persons with disabilities was held in Baku on 7 December in observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Speaking at the Conference, UNO's Envera Selimovic, echoed the Secretary-General’s message by highlighting that “Persons with disabilities have a significant positive impact on society, and their contributions can be even greater if we remove barriers to their participation”.

The annual observance of the Day focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities, to promote a better understanding of disability issues. It also highlights the gains that can be achieved by integrating those individuals in every aspect of their community's life.

Reflecting on the staggering statistics which point out that around 15 per cent per billion people globally live with disabilities, the Conference agreed unanimously that the biggest problem is a lack of awareness of the everyday life challenges that people with disabilities face. “We must strive to eliminate the various stigma and types of discrimination and reach out to help people to develop and use their enormous potential” noted Ms. Selimovic.  

Highlighting the UN commitment to the full and effective participation of all human rights by persons with disabilities, the Conference agreed that empowering people with disabilities could be made possible by removing the barriers that prevent them from participating in their communities, achieving equality, education, finding decent work and having their voices heard. 

Concluding the event, Ms. Selimovic called upon all the Conference attendees to help promote an understanding of issues faced by disabled individuals and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disabilities. She stated, “Through self-confidence and untiring efforts, we can prove that disability does not mean inability. We do not need to wait for a big change to happen, but start with small-scale actions that can touch and add new color to the everyday lives of people with disabilities.” 

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Celebrating Persons with Disabilities

04 December 2012

Marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Brazzaville, in association with the US Embassy and Bishop Emile Biyenda Foundation, organized a two-day exhibition of products and handcrafts made by disabled people.

This activity took place at UNIC from 3 to 4 December and gathered around 500 visitors including diplomats, UN staff, non-governmental organizations, media and the general public.

Day 1 featured a musical performance of a disabled persons’ band and a ceremony with the Chairwoman of of the Bishop Emile Biyenda Foundation, the US Ambassador and the Acting UN Resident Coordinator, who delivered the UN Secretary-General's message. Disabled women performed the nzango, a local-women game on Day 2.

The UNIC National Information Officer moderated the event and was part of the coordination of media coverage.