05/25/2009 11:17 PM
Dubai: The 'Arab Decade of Disabled Persons' and the implementation of the UN conventions concerned with improving the quality of life of disabled people will be discussed during a conference to be held in November.
The regional conference of Rehabilitation International (RI), a global network of experts, professionals and advocates working together to empower the disabled, will take place in Dubai on November 11-12 under the patronage of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The Declaration on the 'Arab Decade of Disabled Persons' (2003-2012) was adopted in a conference on 'Disability Conditions in the Arab World: Towards an Arab Decade on Disability' in 2002, which was attended by more than 250 people, including Arab ministers.
Minister of Social Affairs Mariam Al Roumi said: "We are fully convinced that the UN conventions and voluntary protocol are not an end in themselves. It requires perseverance from all of us for people with disabilities to secure their rights to a good quality of life.
"To enhance equality and mutual respect at the local community level, practical procedures must be put in place."
There are currently 650 million people with disabilities in the world, according to RI statistics.
The conference will allow the Arab region to assess where it currently is in terms of disabled rights and to develop clear action plans that will allow the full potential of the UN conventions to be realised.
To do this, issues such as accessibility, education, transportation and rehabilitation will be assessed, according to Anne Hawker, president of IR.