Minsk Discussed Disability-Inclusive Developments

On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities Minsk hosted a round table meeting "Inclusion of People with Disabilities as a Prerequisite for Sustainable Development". Members of non–governmental organizations working for the welfare of the disabled persons, representatives of the Disability Community, Ministries of labor and social protection, health, education, architecture and construction, UN Resident Coordinator Office, Offices of the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children's Fund, European Union and United Nations Department of Public Information in Belarus, private businesses, the media

On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities Minsk hosted a round table meeting "Inclusion of People with Disabilities as a Prerequisite for Sustainable Development".

Members of non–governmental organizations working for the welfare of the disabled persons, representatives of the Disability Community, Ministries of labor and social protection, health, education, architecture and construction, UN Resident Coordinator Office, Offices of the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children's Fund, European Union and United Nations Department of Public Information in Belarus, private businesses, the media, as well as the representatives of the Ministry of health and social development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Association of women with disabilities "Shyrak" came together to take an active part in discussing the situation of implementing the rights and promoting opportunities for persons with disabilities in Belarus and develop recommendations for disability–inclusive development and use of modern technologies and latest advances to help people with disabilities lead full lives.

In his speech the coordinator of the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities Sergey Drozdovskiy said "with an extensive system of support and assistance to people with disabilities, we stepped across the threshold to enter the next phase — inclusion implementation. We have everything we need to do this – a rich experience in solving disability problems, and significant human resources represented by the experts and organizations for the disabled, but we also enjoy a resource of the techniques provided by the international community and supported by the successes of other countries. And we must take responsibility and hear the voice of people with disabilities — we must endeavour to improve their lives".

During the discussion, the roundtable participants repeatedly highlighted the importance of technologies to facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities in the field of education and employment, drawing attention to the benefits of bringing together non–governmental organizations to improve the lives of people with disabilities in Belarus, and the need to implement and mainstream the principle "Nothing About Us Without Us!"

"Today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities we obviously want to talk about a society where everyone is its equal member. Such a society recognizes as an important element of its wellbeing the interaction of state bodies and public associations, especially those representing the interests of people with disabilities, as well as caring and active people" said in her speech acting UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Ekaterina Paniklova.

This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities focuses on the theme, “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology”.

Technology has changed the world, bringing knowledge within reach and expanding a range of opportunities. Persons with disabilities can benefit enormously from such advances, yet too many lack access to these essential tools.

Through adaptive, assistive and inclusive technology, persons with disabilities can make the most of their potential in their communities and in the workplace. Employers can harness technology to create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities to find productive employment and fully use their skills and capacities.

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