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More Help On Way For Our Disabled: CEO

More help for the disabled people will come with the ratification of  the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Pacific Disability Forum chief executive officer Setareki Macanawai
21 May 2016 16:21
More Help On Way For Our Disabled: CEO
From right, Pacific Disability Forum chief executive officer ,Setareki Macanawai , Gender and Youth Officer, Naomi Navoce during the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence meeting in Parliament yesterday. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa

More help for the disabled people will come with the ratification of  the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Pacific Disability Forum chief executive officer Setareki Macanawai said this yesterday.

He said there were insufficient resources for people with disabilities to carry out their work in Fiji.

However, he said with the ratification of the convention, more international assistance would  pour into the country to facilitate organisations dealing with disabled people.

Mr Macanawai was responding to Opposition Whip, Ratu Isoa Tikoca, who asked him to clarify his stand on the convention’s ratification during the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence meeting in Parliament yesterday.

Ratu Isoa said Fiji was still trying to recover from the devastation of a tropical cyclone. The  question was if there were enough funds to get resources in to implement provisions under the convention after it was ratified.

Mr Macanawai said, “There will never be sufficient resources for Fiji to do its work; but day by day discrimination continues with people living with disabilities on the grounds of disability.”

Mr Macanawai said Fiji didn’t need to do everything overnight after it ratified the convention and the rights of people with disabilities could be realised progressively.

He said Article 32 of the convention was about international co-operation.

“This is the only human rights treaty that develop a lens on human rights so I think when Fiji ratifies the convention Article 32 will develop international partners and agencies to work with Fiji to realise its commitments and obligations as state parties to the convention.

“I believe as Fiji ratifies the convention it will also be an avenue of resource generation that probably Fiji is struggling at the moment to have to realise the rights of persons with disabilities,” he said.

Mr Macanawai said if Pacific Islands like Tuvalu and Kiribati could ratify the convention even if they didn’t have many resources then there was no excuse for Fiji ratifying the convention too.

“Tuvalu ratified in December in 2013, Kiribati in 2013. These are countries that are not resourceful like Fiji yet they have gone a step ahead ratifying the convention, if Marshal Islands ratified last year then I think Fiji can do that as well.

“We believe if Fiji ratifies Article 32; it is a window for international co-operation and support from outside Fiji to help Fiji fulfill its obligation as a State Party to the CRPD,” he said.

Ratu Isoa said when we ratify the convention without any reservations then we should make sure that such organisations are added in the Budget next year so they could receive funding to help them grow.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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