Stakeholders discuss disability inclusion

An induction workshop on disability inclusion is underway at Abokobi in Ga East Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.

The  five-day training is to help participants develop basic understanding on how to implement Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and improve the implementation of disability inclusive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the country level is underway at Abokobi in Accra.

It is also expected to assist them gain an understanding of the preconditions for disability inclusion at country level, with focus on the government’s policy and system changes.

The training would additionally assist the participants to understand the preconditions for disability inclusion, in order to prepare United Nations Country Teams (UNCT) to complete the situational analysis towards developing strong joint programmes.

Issues to be disclosed during the period included preconditions for disability inclusion, gender equality and the rights of women and girls with disabilities, equality and non-discrimination, disability assessment and referral and support services.

The other topics to be discussed are data inclusion and cross sector collaboration and accountability, meaningful participation and inclusion of under-represented groups of persons with disabilities, Persons With Disability Act, 715, Reenactment, 2020 and accompanying LI, Overview of National Council or PWDs and the Councils MTP, 2022-2025 and OPDs as well as cross cutting approaches to implementing the policies.

The project, funded by the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD), Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MTPF) attracted participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the academia, and traditional authorities, Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies and the Federation of PWDs.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr Charles Abani speaking at the opening said disability inclusion was an essential condition for upholding human rights and sustainable developments as such no one should be left behind.

He indicated that the mantra “nothing about us without us” calls for collaboration to bring about the much needed change to ensure a holistic buy-in for PWDs to realise their rights, and take their place in the economy and society at large.

Mr Abani stated that the UNPRPD-MPTF was a unique collaboration that brought together UN entities, governments, CSOs, and the organisations of persons with disabilities to integrate them into the development process of countries.

The UN Resident Coordinator said it was in the process of re-formulating its cooperation framework with the government to broaden partnerships in all spheres of life and ensuring inclusive participation of CSOs for quality outcomes.

Mr Abani indicated that without disability inclusion, the realisation of the SDGs would be an illusion and stressed the need to prioritise key agents of change in education, digital spaces, food systems, as well as the financial inclusions and opportunities in rapid urbanisation.

The National President, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, Mrs Mawunyo Yakor-Dagbah, bemoaned the lack of conscious effort on the part of the government to ensure implementation of various provisions on accessibility and urged the participants to adopt workable solutions to include PWDs in every sector of the economy.

The Caretaker Minister of Gender and Social Protection, Ms Cecelia Abena Dapaah in a speech read on her behalf urged the participants to take advantage of the training and adopt strategies towards making PWDs part of the national development agenda.

FROM LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU,ABOKOBI

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