International Year for Disabled Persons. Meeting of the Advisory Committee for the International Year for Disabled Persons : Report of the Secretary-General.
|UN Document Symbol||A/34/158|
|Convention||Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities|
|Document Type||Report of the Secretary-General|
33 p., including annex.
|Subjects||Persons with Disabilities|
13 June 1979
Item 79 of the preliminary list*
INTERNATIONAL YEAR FOR DISABLED PERSONS
Meeting of the Advisory Committee for the International Year for Disabled Persons
Report of the Secretary-General
1. At its thirty-first session, in its resolution 31/123 of l6 December 1976 ,
the General Assembly, recalling its resolutions 2856 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971
containing the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons, 3447 (XXX)
of 9 December 1975 containing the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons and
31/82 of 13 December 1976 on the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of
Disabled Persons, proclaimed the year 198l International Year for Disabled Persons,
with the theme '"'Full participation". In the same resolution, the Assembly invited
all Member States and the organizations concerned to give their attention to the
establishment of measures and programmes to implement the objectives of the Year
and requested the Secretary-General to elaborate a draft programme for the Year,
in consultation "with Member States, specialized agencies and the organizations concerned, and to submit it to the Assembly at its thirty-second session.
2. At its thirty-second session, in its resolution 32/133 of 16 December 1977,
the General Assembly, having considered the report of the Secretary-General
(A/32/288) containing the draft programme for the Year, which incorporated proposals
received from Member States and the International organizations concerned, approved
the proposals of the Secretary-General, contained in his report, for preparatory
work for the period 1978-1979 and authorized the Secretary-General to undertake the
measures required to implement those proposals, including the necessary information
activities to be undertaken prior to and during the Year. The Assembly also
appealed to Member States to make in due time generous voluntary contributions for
the Year and encouraged Member States and the organizations concerned to take
specific action in the preparation of the observance of the Year.
* A/34/50. 79-16124
English Page 2
3. In Its resolution 32/133, the General Assembly also decided to establish an Advisory Committee for the International Year for Disabled Persons, composed of the representatives of 15 Member States to be appointed, on the basis of equitable geographical distribution, by the Chairman of the Third Committee, in concurrence with the regional groups , its task being to consider, and to consult with member States and specialized agencies on the draft programme for the Year prepared by the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General was requested to convene the Advisory Committee no later than March 1979 at the Headquarters of the United Eations and to submit the report on that meeting to the General Assembly for consideration at its thirty-fourth session.
4. At its thirty-third session, the General Assembly, in its resolution 33/170 of 20 December 1978, decided that the Advisory Committee should be composed of the representatives of 23 Member States, instead of 15, to be appointed as indicated above. The Chairman of the Third Committee subsequently informed the Secretary-General (A/33/550) that she had appointed the 23 members of the Advisory Committee (see annex below, para.4). In the same resolution, the Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to ensure that the necessary information activities for the Year were initiated, starting from 1 January 1979=
5, The Advisory Committee held its first session in New York from 19 to
23 March 1979 to consider, in accordance with paragraph 5 of resolution 32/133, the draft programme for the Year prepared by the Secretary-General, which included the results of preliminary consultations with Member States, the regional commissions and specialized agencies (A/AC.197/1 and Add.1).
6, The report of the Advisory Committee, which was submitted by the Chairman of
the Committee to the Secretary-General, is annexed- to the present document.
7. A statement of the administrative and financial implications entailed by some
of the Advisory Committee's recommendations will be issued in due course as an
addendum to the present report.
A/34/158 English Annex
Report of the Advisory Committee for the International Year
for Disabled Persons
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 3
I. ORGANIZATION OF THE SESSION 1-12 4
A. Opening of the session 1-3 4
B. Attendance 4 - 7 4
C. Election of officers 8 5
D. Agenda and organization of work 9-10 6
E. Documentation 11 6
F. Adoption of the report 12 6
II. DRAFT INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR THE INTERNATIONAL
YEAR FOR DISABLED PERSONS 13-55 6
A. General debate . 15-31 7
B. Consideration of draft recommendations 32-36 11
C. Statements and reservations made by members on the
recommendations adopted by the Advisory Committee . . 37-42 12
D. Draft recommendations and proposals on which the
Advisory Committee could not reach a decision.... 43-55 !3
III. RECOMMENDATIONS 56-76 15
A. Introduction: Conceptual framework and guiding
Principles for the recommendations . 57-67 15
B. Activities at the national level .......... 68-69 17
C. Regional activities. 70-73 20
D. United Nations programme 74 21
E. Public information programme 75 24
F. Activities of agencies and bodies within the United
Nations system and interagency co-ordination .... 76 25
English Annex Page 2
I. List of documents before the Advisory Committee at its first session
II. Activities at the national level proposed by Member States and non-governmental organizations
A/34/158 English Annex
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
30 April 1979 Sir,
On behalf of the Advisory Committee for the International Year for Disabled Persons, which met at Headquarters from 19 to 23 March 1979, I have the honor to present you with the report of the Advisory Committee prepared pursuant to paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 32/133 of l6 December 1977.
Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.
(Signed) Mansur Rashid KIKHIA Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the International Year for Disabled Persons
His Excellency Mr. Kurt Waldheim Secretary-General of the United Nations
A/34158 English Annex Page 4
I. ORGANIZATION OF THE SESSION
A. Opening of the session
1. The Advisory Committee for the International Year for Disabled Persons held its first session at United Nations Headquarters from 19 to 23 March 1919, during which it held nine meetings.
2. The session was opened by the representative of the Secretary-General, who pointed out that the context in which the session of the Advisory Committee took place was exceptional. The international community was celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development which was the basis for international co-operation in the social sector of development. That same day the North-South dialogue would resume in the Committee of the Whole Established under General Assembly Resolution 32/174. In a few days time the Committee for Development Planning would convene in New York, and the Commission for Social Development had just concluded its most recent session. The discussions of the Advisory Committee might greatly benefit from this exceptional concentration of important events. She emphasized two aspects in particular that had emerged from the discussions of the Commission for Social Development: prevention and popular participation. The former was the basis for the elaboration of policies and programmes for social welfare in general, the latter was linked to the change in social institutions and structures. All population groups should be able to participate in the entire process of planning for social and economic development.
3. She said that the theme of the International Year for Disabled Persons was definitely appropriate against that background and was related to the great problems of international co-operation as well as to preoccupation with the establishment of a new international economic order. Productive and creative participation of all population sectors within international structures and institutions was indispensable in this regard. For the establishment of the new international economic order, there was a need for workers at all levels and of many different professions and skills. The Member States and the international community could not overlook the contribution that physically disabled persons might make to development. Recognition of that contribution should manifest itself in the admission of disabled people into the decision-making process at all levels of society.
4. The session was attended by the 23 States members of the Advisory Committee, as follows:
English Annex Page 5
United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
United States of America Uruguay
Byelorussian Soviet Socialist
German Democratic Republic
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
5. The following States Members of the United Nations were represented by observers:
Germany, Federal Republic of
One observer from a non-member State, the Holy See, also attended.
6. The following specialized agencies were represented:
International Labor Organization
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
World Health Organization
7. The following United Nations bodies were represented:
Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinators
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
C. Election of officers
8. At its 1st to 3rd meetings, on 19 and 20 March 1979, the Advisory Committee
elected the following officers by acclamation:
Chairman: Mr. Mansur Rashid Kikhia
(Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)
Vice-Chairmen: Mrs. Alicia Amate de Esquivel
Mr. Dragan Mateljak (Yugoslavia)
Mrs. Nina Sibal (India)
Rapporteur: Mr. Bjorn Oldaeus (Sweden)
A/34/158 English Annex Page 6
D. Agenda and organization of work
9. At its 1st meeting, on 19 March, the Advisory Committee adopted the following
agenda, contained in document A/AC.19T/2/Rev.l:
1. Election of officers.
2. Adoption of the agenda and organization of work.
3. Draft international programme for the International Year for Disabled Persons.
4. Adoption of the report of the Advisory Committee.
10, At the same meeting, the Advisory Committee decided to welcome the
participation of observers from Member States not members of the Advisory
Committee and from non-member States. It also decided to allow observers from
non-governmental organizations concerned to follow the work of the Advisory
Committee. Pursuant to this decision, the representative of the Council of World
Organizations interested in the Handicapped was allowed to make a statement
(see Para. 31 below).
11. The list of documents before the Advisory Committee is contained in appendix I below.
F. Adoption of the report
12. The Advisory Committee considered and adopted its draft report (A/AC.197/L.2
and Add.l), as orally revised, at its 9th meeting on 23 March 1979. a/
II. DRAFT INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR FOR DISABLED PERSONS
13. The Advisory Committee considered item 3 of its agenda (Draft international
programme for the International Year for Disabled Persons) at its 2nd to 9th
meetings, between 19 and 23 March.
a/ The recommendations of the Advisory Committee are contained in section III of the present report; draft recommendations and proposals submitted to the Advisory Committee, on which, owing to constraints of time, the Committee could not reach a decision, are contained in section II D.
A/3V158 English Annex Page 7
l4. For its consideration of the item, the Advisory Committee had before it the following documents:
(a) Report of the Secretary-General on the International Year for Disabled Persons (A/32/288);
(b) Report of the Secretary-General entitled "International Year for Disabled Persons: draft international programme for 1980-1981" (A/AC.197/1 and Add.l)j
(c) Communication dated 5 March 1979 addressed to the Secretary-General by the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations (A/AC.197/3).
A, General debate
15- The Director of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, in her introductory statement on the report of the Secretary-General contained in document A/AC.197/1, pointed out that the proposals therein were based on those received from Member States and international organizations. The objectives and theme of the Year were also reflected in the proposals. In making its suggestions to the Advisory Committee, the Secretariat had taken into account the fact that the resources that might be available for the Year were not yet known and that, therefore, it had been necessary to adopt a cautious approach and present a programme that should be considered as a minimum one. She further stated that, in the absence of a special world conference for the Year, it was the intention of the proposals contained in the report to give the principal role, as far as the activities of the United Nations were concerned, to the statutory bodies of the United Nations concerned with social questions, that is, through the Commission for Social Development to the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly. The principal emphasis, however, should be on activities at the national level. It was also hoped that the regional commissions, specialized agencies, non-governmental organizations and, in particular, those of and for disabled persons would have an important role in the activities of the Year.
16. Several members of the Committee emphasized the need to take into account the needs and problems of disabled persons in the national development planning process. Disabled persons should have the same right as all other citizens to benefit from the services made available by States and society in general to their citizens. Disabled persons should be considered ordinary citizens with special problems rather than a special category of people with needs different from those of other citizens. Full participation should be understood to mean participation in all aspects of community life: in political, economic, social, cultural and sports activities. Measures that were necessary to make this participation possible should be adopted and put into practice. It was recognized that the foremost obstacles to full participation were physical barriers, prejudices and discriminatory attitudes and that work should be undertaken to have those obstacles removed. It was also recognized that society, in developing its modern environment, tended to create new and additional barriers unless the requirements of disabled persons were taken into account in the planning stages.
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17. Some members pointed out that there was a dramatic change taking place concerning the attitudes of disabled persons themselves. They were assuming more and more the role of a consumer group which had its own views as to how improvements to their conditions of life should be brought about and wanted to make these views known to decision-makers. Some members suggested that that development should be encouraged and that the representatives of disabled persons should be ensured full participation not only in the planning of programmes concerning themselves but also in the planning of the socio-economic development of society in general. It was also suggested that international organizations should set an example in this respect.
18. Several members gave examples of the achievements of their respective countries in the development of disability prevention and rehabilitation services. Those included adoption of new legislative measures to ensure better and increased services to disabled persons, development of new types of technical aids, prostheses and other appliances, and providing these and various other services free of charge to disabled persons. The importance of primary health care services was also stressed. Some representatives indicated the great difficulties their countries experienced in the provision of even basic health and rehabilitation services because of widespread poverty, large-scale unemployment and scarce financial and personnel resources. Yet, they stated, efforts had been made to assist disabled persons to become self-supporting and active members of society. It was emphasized that provision of vocational training and creation of workshops for disabled persons were particularly important. They should be given much greater scope within the parameters of both multilateral and bilateral technical co-operation. Some members of the Committee expressed the need for the international community to support the efforts of developing countries and suggested the creation of a special international fund through which technical assistance could be made available for disability prevention and rehabilitation projects as well as for research purposes. Some members of the Committee pointed out that that kind of assistance, within both multilateral and bilateral programmes, had been marginal thus far and that it was therefore necessary to consider new ways of solving the problem. Some members suggested that technical co-operation in that field should be considered in the context of the principles of the new international economic order; one member referred to the possibilities of mutual assistance within the framework of technical co-operation among developing countries.
19. One representative stressed the need for assistance - financial, technical, medical and other - to developing countries by developed countries in that field.
20. A number of representatives said that the United Nations could and should inspire Member States to implement the objectives of the Year in conformity with the concept of integral rehabilitation. The process of rehabilitation required, they stated, a system of flexible co-ordination of the labor, education, health and social sectors.
21. The important role of competent non-governmental organizations in the preparation and implementation of programmes for the Year, was underlined by several members of the Committee. They suggested that, with the expertise and
A/3V158 English Annex
experience those organizations had acquired over the last decades in the field of rehabilitation, they could make a significant contribution to the success of the Year. Close co-operation between the United Nations agencies and competent international non-governmental organizations was considered by some members to be particularly important in the preparation of the long-term programme of action. One representative expressed concern at the fact that the existing liaison with non-governmental organizations was established only with non-governmental organizations of developed countries.
22. In reference to the long-term programme of action, some representatives emphasized that the Year should mark the beginning of a concerted international effort in that field and that the programme should be prepared by the Committee on the basis of the suggestions received from Member States, specialized agencies and the non-governmental organizations concerned in the course of 1980 and 198l. Not many problems could be solved during the Year and it was also necessary to consider measures on a longer-term basis to ensure the fullest possible achievement of the objectives of the Year in all countries,
23. Several members emphasized the priority that should be given to means of preventing disabilities. They pointed out that many of the known causes of disabilities were preventable and, in some cases, could be prevented in relatively simple and inexpensive ways. Many members also stressed the priority that should be given to action at the national level. It was suggested that public education and information campaigns about the nature and extent of disability problems, about the possibilities of solving those problems, about the rights of disabled persons to human dignity and a decent standard of living and about their potential for contributing to the development of their societies should have a central role in national activities. Some members of the Committee also emphasized the need for effective international support to national activities in that particular respect.
2k. Several members expressed their preference for action-oriented programmes for the Year. Those would include the use of appropriate technology for rehabilitation of the disabled, the award of fellowships to specialists, the development of equipment banks, and other programmes which would bring direct benefit to disabled persons and make the observance of the Year more meaningful.
25. Some members pointed out that disabled persons in fact formed a very varied group within which there were persons with different disabilities and that there were, in consequence, great differences in the needs and requirements for services. It was suggested that the programme for the Year should take into account different disabilities and make provision for ensuring the achievement of the objectives of the Year for all disabled people.
26. Some members stated that one important aspect had not been given attention in the background document, namely, the significance and role of the Year in the promotion of peace and peaceful relations among nations and States. They referred to the sufferings that their respective countries and some other parts of the world, in one case very recently, had experienced as a result of wars and other
A/34/158 English Annex Page 10
Forms of violence. They suggested that the large numbers of civilian and military victims of war in many countries should encourage Governments to give high priority to a policy of strengthening international peace and security, in accordance with the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations.
27. Several members emphasized the need for an active role to be taken by United Nations specialized agencies in the preparation and carrying out of the activities of the Year.
28. Some members stated that existing resources and personnel of the Secretariat should he used to carry out the programme for the Year, without any financial implications for the regular budget and increase in the Secretariat staff, in particular for the public information programme.
29. The representative of the World Health Organization referred in particular to certain recent surveys indicating that, for the time being, only a very small percentage of disabled persons in developing countries received the services they needed; the success of efforts to improve the conditions of life for a majority of disabled persons in rural areas of developing countries would depend on finding new ways of extending the provision of necessary basic services at the community level - ways that would be in consonance with the resources that were available for that purpose in developing countries, or could be made available to them.
30. The representatives of the Department of Public Information and the Statistical Office also addressed the meeting. The former, with reference to paragraph 35 of document A/AC.197/1, explained the plans of his Department for the Year. He stated that it would issue, during 1979, a brochure or leaflet on the general aims and objectives of the Year, a poster and a quarterly newsletter. Tentative plans for 1980-1981 had also been prepared but, as those had to be tied to the programme for the Year that would be recommended by the Committee, the proposals could be finalized only when the programme components were known. The efforts of the Department of Public Information would be concentrated on making the general public understand better the problems involved and on helping to change attitudes towards disabled people. The representative of the Statistical Office, with reference to paragraph 34 of document A/AC.197/1, explained the purpose of the household surveys mentioned therein and the reasons why those surveys were preferred to general censuses when it came to collecting statistical data on the extent and nature of disabilities.
31. Pursuant to the decision taken by the Advisory Committee at its 1st meeting, the representative of the Council of World Organizations interested in the Handicapped made a statement, pointing out that the 39 international
Non-governmental organizations that formed the Council of World Organizations interested in the Handicapped were anxious to extend their full support to the United Nations in making the Year a success. Those organizations also had or were considering plans for their own action in observance of the Year and they wished to carry out those plans in the closest possible co-operation with the United Nations and the specialized agencies concerned.
A/34/158 English Annex Page 11
B. Consideration of draft recommendations
32. At its 6th to 9th meetings, on 22 and 23 March, the Advisory Committee considered the draft recommendations contained in the informal working paper (A/AC.197/WP.1 and Add.1-5) submitted by the Rapporteur. The working paper contained, in accordance with the decision taken by the Advisory Committee, a consolidated text of draft recommendations which were based on the proposals made during the general debate on the item (see paras. 15-31 above), and on draft proposals submitted to the Rapporteur by delegations, including those contained in the draft resolution submitted by Argentina (A/AC.197/L.1). The text of the draft recommendations submitted to the Advisory Committee but on which, owing to constraints of time, it could not reach a decision, is reproduced in paragraph 43 below. The Committee decided, however, that the text of those draft recommendations should be brought to the attention of those concerned. The Committee also decided to include in its report (see paras. 44-55 below) a summary of the discussions concerning the proposals on the appointment of a special representative of the Secretary-General and on the proposals to strengthen Secretariat support for the Year, on which, owing to constraints of time, the Committee could not reach a decision.
33. With respect to the financial implications of the draft recommendations contained in the working paper (A/AC.197/WP.1 and Add.1-5), the representative of the Budget Division recalled that a statement on the financial implications for the biennium 1978-1979 in respect of preparatory activities for the Year was submitted to the General Assembly by the Secretary-General in document A/C.5/32/89 of 12 December 1977. Furthermore, the Secretary-General in his report to the General Assembly at its thirty-second session on the draft programme for the International Year for Disabled Persons (A/32/288) had submitted a provisional outline of financial implications in respect of the biennium 1980-1981, and had stated that "a more precise and detailed account of the expenses of the Secretariat of the second phase will be presented to the General Assembly at its thirty-fourth session11.
34. The representative of the Budget Division said that the draft recommendations of the Committee contained additional financial implications in relation to a wide variety and range of tasks, the scope of which could not be sufficiently defined in the time available for the preparation of a statement that would provide any detailed estimates of the financial implications. However, based on past experience of the cost of the type of activity envisaged in the draft recommendations before the Committee (further meetings of the Committee, expert group meetings, seminars and symposia, regional meetings, temporary assistance and travel of staff and public information activities) and on a preliminary assessment of the draft recommendations, it could be stated that expenditure of the order of magnitude of $2,550,000 might be involved. He said that after a more detailed examination of the related requirements, the Secretary-General would be in a position to provide more definitive estimates at the time the Assembly considered, at its thirty-fourth session, the recommendations of the Committee.
35. Some representatives regretted that the Committee could not have a more detailed statement on the financial implications of the draft recommendations.
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36. At its 6th to 9th meetings, on 22 and 23 March, the Committee adopted the draft recommendations in the working paper, as orally revised (see sect. ITI below),
C, Statements and reservations made by members on the recommendations adopted by the Advisory Committee b /
37. The representatives of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of the United States of America expressed the reservations of their respective delegations to the use of the words "the establishment of the new international economic order" in the text of the recommendations adopted. Instead, they stated, the words "the establishment of a new international economic order" should have been used.
38. The representative of the United States of America expressed the view that United Nations activities in connection with the Year should be financed and carried out through existing resources.
39. The representatives of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and of the German Democratic Republic stated that existing resources and personnel of the Secretariat should be used in carrying out the programme for the Year, without any additional financial implications for the regular budget and increase in Secretariat staff, in particular for the public information programme.
40. The representative of Argentina, with respect to the recommendation in paragraph 74 (a) below,, stated the reservations of her delegation and said that her delegation could not accept changing the theme "Full participation", which had been approved by the General Assembly in resolution 31/123 after lengthy discussions and consultations.
41. The representatives of Canada and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland expressed the view that the development of a long-term programme of action was of great importance and interest to the disabled and that every effort should be made in its preparation to consult effectively and substantially representatives of the disabled and the international non-governmental organizations concerned. They said that the development of a long-term programme of action should take into account the work being done by Rehabilitation International in relation to a "Charter for the 1980s", which was being prepared for discussion at the 14th World Congress of Rehabilitation International which would be held in Winnipeg, Canada, in June 198O.
42. The representative of Canada recommended that the Committee should urge Member States to consider the feasibility of including representatives of disabled persons in their delegations to future meetings of the Committee.
b/ These statements have been included in the report at the specific request of the delegations concerned.
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D. Draft recommendations and proposals on which the Advisory Committee could not reach a decision
43. The following draft recommendations were submitted to the Advisory Committee but, owing to constraints of time, it could not reach a decision on them:
(a) "The Advisory Committee recommends the establishment, in the course
of 1981, of an international fund to assist developing countries, on a
continuing basis, in areas which will emerge, as a result of the experience
of the International Year, as priority areas of concern, and a consultative
committee which will decide upon disbursements from this fund. By way of
illustration, this fund could be used:
"(i) To develop equipment banks for the purpose of demonstration and where necessary for loan purposes at strategic points, especially in the developing regions of the world;
"(ii) To purchase and distribute simple equipment kits through Member States to handicapped school children in developing countries."
(b) "The Advisory Committee recommends the establishment of a United Nations
fund for the participation (rehabilitation?) Of handicapped persons,
financed by voluntary contributions from Member States and non-governmental
organizations, to finance the following activities in the developing
"(i) Organization and conduct of statistical and epidemiological research on various handicaps;
"(ii) Information and publicity campaigns to make the public aware of the rights of handicapped persons;
"(iii) Institution and development of rehabilitation services for
handicapped persons, suited to the socio-cultural realities of each country;
"(iv) Training of the necessary specialized personnel:
"(v) Improvement of methods and techniques for the rehabilitation of handicapped persons."
(c) "The Advisory Committee recommends the establishment of an international
fund, or similar vehicle, to assist developing countries, on a continuing
basis, in establishing and developing rehabilitation services for the
disabled, including training of the required personnel, as well as to assist
research projects aimed at promoting measures to prevent disabilities and at
improving methods and techniques of rehabilitating the disabled." c_/
c_/ This proposal is contained in the report of the Secretary-General (A/AC.197/1, para. 33 (b)).
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(d) "The Advisory Committee recommends the provision of technical assistance to developing countries in the fields of disability prevention and rehabilitation of the disabled within the framework of the principles of the new international economic order as part of all multilateral and bilateral co-operative efforts"
(e) "The Advisory Committee recommends that no international fund should be established."
44. A number of proposals were made concerning the appointment of a special representative of the Secretary-General and the strengthening of Secretariat support services for the Year but, owing to constraints of time, the Committee could not reach a decision on them. Several delegations proposed that the Secretary-General should appoint a special representative, in an honorary capacity, to co-ordinate the activities being carried out in connection with the Year between sessions of the Committee.
45. Another delegation proposed that a senior official in the United Nations Secretariat should be charged with the task of co-ordinating all policies and programmes aimed at the disabled and that that official should be supported by an interagency committee.
46. The Committee's attention was also drawn to paragraph 13 of the report of the Secretary-General on the International Year for Disabled Persons (A/32/288) in which he stated, inter alia, that the General Assembly might wish to decide that, because of the need to establish liaison with Governments, non-governmental organizations and distinguished personalities at a high level, in addition to the administrative work involved, it would be desirable to have the services of a very senior person on a full-time basis as the special representative of the Secretary-General for the Year.
47. Those making the proposal for the appointment of a special representative explained that the task of the special representative would be to promote the implementation of the objectives of the Year through, inter alia, visits to and consultations with Member States and organs, organizations and other bodies within the United Nations system, as well as through consultations with non-governmental and other organizations concerned with disabled persons. They further explained that the appointment of a special representative would entail expenses only for travel and administrative matters, as the special representative would serve "in an honorary capacity".
48. Some members who expressed their support for the appointment of a special representative stated that the appointment of a special representative should be on a. full-time basis. Some other representatives suggested that, instead, the Chairman of the Committee might be requested to undertake such promotional missions on behalf of the Secretary-General.
49. A number of representatives expressed objections to the appointment of a special representative which they considered was unnecessary and would entail needless expense. They believed that the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs (CSDHA) as the unit responsible for providing secretariat support for the Year could discharge the duties of a special representative within the context of paragraph 13 of the Secretary-General's report.
50. Several representatives felt that the modalities of the appointment of a special representative "in an honorary capacity" required clarification.
51. Some members of the Advisory Committee proposed the strengthening of Secretariat support services for the Year, both at Geneva and at Headquarters in New York, in order to facilitate the effective implementation of the programme for the Year, in the closest possible co-ordination and co-operation with the specialized agencies and other United Nations bodies, such as the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Children's Fund, concerned with questions relating to the prevention of disability and rehabilitation of the disabled,
52. In connexion with secretariat support for the Year, the Director of CSDHA confirmed that CSDHA had been designated as the unit responsible for providing Secretariat support. That had been set out in paragraph 9 of the report of the Secretary-General on the International Year for Disabled Persons (A/32/288); the proposals contained in the report were approved by the General Assembly in its resolution 32/133.
53. Since both the New York and Geneva offices of CSDHA would be transferred to Vienna in September 1979 pursuant to a decision of the General Assembly, the CSDHA staff members who were currently temporarily located in Geneva would also be transferred to Vienna. She added that all substantive and administrative co-ordination of the activities for the Year with other United Nations agencies would be maintained from Vienna.
54. She said that the only way to provide secretariat services for the Year from Geneva or New York would be to establish a separate secretariat for the Year by a new decision of the General Assembly. However, as things stood, CSDHA remained the legitimate secretariat for the Year. Therefore, all staff working for the Year should also be transferred to Vienna, the new headquarters for CSDHA.
55. She cited relevant portions of paragraph 13 of the report of the Secretary-General (see para. 46 above), and stated that, by virtue of that paragraph, the Secretary-General would be in a position, if the General Assembly so decided, to appoint a special representative for the express purpose of establishing high-level political contacts and conducting activities, including fund raising, in the interests and for the promotion of the Year.
56. Pursuant to paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 32/133, the Advisory Committee for the International Year for Disabled Persons submits the recommendations set forth below on the report of the Secretary-General entitled "International Year for Disabled Persons: draft international programme for 1980-1981" (A/AC.197/1 and Add.l).
A. Introduction: Conceptual framework and guiding principles for the recommendations
57. The purpose of the Year is to promote the realization of the goals "full participation" of disabled persons in the social life and development of the
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societies in which they live, "equality", meaning living conditions equal to those of other citizens in their society, and an equal share in the improvement of living conditions resulting from social and economic development. These concepts should apply in the same manner and with the same urgency in all countries regardless of their level of development,
58. Problems of disabled persons should be conceived in their entirety and take into account all aspects of development. However, it should be noted that in view of many problems of high priority and of insufficient means and resources, the developing countries have been unable to allocate the necessary resources to solving the problems of disabled persons.
59. As the solution of problems of the disabled is closely connected with over¬all development at the national level, solution of these problems in developing countries depends to a large extent on the creation of adequate international conditions for the faster socio-economic development of these countries. Accordingly, the establishment of the new international economic order is of direct relevance to the implementation of the objectives of the Year. It is estimated that there are some 450 million disabled persons in the world today, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries. It is therefore imperative that a great part of the activities in connexion with the Year should aim at improving conditions for disabled persons in these countries. More scope should be given to projects in this field within the framework of both bilateral and multilateral development programmes, on national, regional and international levels. Such projects should be integral parts of national development strategies. There is a need to secure the participation of Member States as well as governmental and non-governmental international organizations of disabled people in the adoption and implementation of the programme of the Year.
60. Mindful of the fact that a large number of disabled persons are victims of war and other forms of violence, the Year could be appropriately used as an occasion to emphasize the need for continued and reinforced co-operation among nations for world peace.
61. An important objective of the Year should be to increase public understanding of what disability is and awareness of the problems it may bring. Many people today equate disability with restrictions in physical mobility. But disabled persons do not form a homogeneous group. For example, deaf persons and those with impaired hearing, persons with impaired vision, mentally retarded and mentally ill persons, persons with restricted mobility, and persons with various medical impairments have different problems that demand different solutions.
62. The Year should promote recognition of the fact that there is a distinction between an impairment which is a quality of the individual, a disability which is a functional restriction due to that impairment and handicaps which are the social consequences of the disability.
63. It is becoming increasingly obvious that a far more constructive approach is to view disability as a relationship between an individual and his or her environment. Experience shows that it is largely the environment which determines
A/34/l58 English Annex
The effects of an impairment on a person's daily life. Societies "by and large still cater only to people who are in full possession of all their physical and mental faculties. Societies still have to learn to respond adequately to the needs of all the people. Societies have an obligation to make their general physical environment, their social and health services, their educational and work opportunities, as well as their cultural and social life, including sports, totally accessible to disabled persons. This does not only benefit disabled persons but also society as a whole. A society that shuts out a number of its members is an impoverished society. Disabled persons should not be considered as a special group with needs different from the rest of the community, but as ordinary citizens with special difficulties in getting their ordinary human needs fulfilled. Action to improve conditions for disabled persons should form an integral part of general policy and planning in every sector of society. It should be part of national reform programmes and of regular programmes for international co-operation.
64. The activities carried out during the Year should have a pragmatic orientation and accordingly should focus on primary health care, rehabilitation and prevention, in view of the importance of that type of activity from the social and human standpoint, particularly since methods and means exist which would enable society to bring about a considerable reduction in the number of disabled persons and the seriousness of their disabilities.
65. In accordance with paragraph 12 of General Assembly resolution 3447 (XXX), containing the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons, organizations of disabled persons may be usefully consulted in all matters regarding the rights of disabled persons. An important objective of the Year is to encourage disabled persons to organize themselves so as to be able to express their views effectively and to secure their right to participate actively in the work of policy-making bodies and in the management of society in general.
66. The Year should contribute to the realization of the above-mentioned principles through action-oriented programmes on the local, national, regional and international levels.
67. The experience acquired in the course of the Year should lead to the adoption of a long-term programme of action (see para. 74 (c) below).
B. Activities at the national level
68. The Advisory Committee recommends that Member States should be invited, in
conformity with their right and responsibility to determine freely their own
developmental objectives and priorities and in the light of their circumstances,
to consider the adoption of the following measures to ensure the implementation of
and follow-up to the objectives of the International Year for Disabled Persons, as
established by the General Assembly in its resolution 31/123. Member States
would be invited:
(a) To issue a proclamation at the beginning of the Year, containing the priority measures to be implemented for the full participation of disabled persons in society;
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(b) To establish, as a preparatory measure, national committees or similar bodies for the Year - whose level of representation would be such as to ensure the implementation of their proposals - to plan, co-ordinate and execute, or encourage the execution of, activities in support of the objectives of the Year at the local and national levels; those participating in the committees could Include representatives of the ministries, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and voluntary groups, including those representing youth and the business community. The participation of the representatives of organizations of and for disabled persons in such committees should be given priority;
(c) To prepare by the end of 198l, national plans for the follow-up to the objectives of the Year, with a view to reviewing and appraising the results of the Year by 1991;
(d) To promote mass media campaigns to disseminate information on the objectives of the Year, enlighten the public and heighten its awareness of the rights of disabled persons to participate in and contribute to the economic, social and political life of their societies as well as to raise community consciousness of the potential of disabled persons to do so;
(e) To integrate the services for disabled persons into general community development programmes and adopt the concept of integral rehabilitation in all healths, labor, education and social security services;
(f) To train professional and technical personnel in the numbers and at the levels which would ensure the implementation of national programmes concerning all aspects of integral rehabilitation through, for example, the inclusion in the curricula of schools, universities and other educational institutions of the concept of integral rehabilitation;
(g) To pay special attention to the co-ordination and strengthening of government services concerning disabled persons, in particular in areas of prevention, health care, education, housing and social and vocational rehabilitation;
(h) To establish appropriate governmental machinery for the co-ordination of all policies designed for disabled people, particularly in the areas of prevention, health care, education, housing and social and vocational rehabilitation;
(i) To review existing legislation to eliminate possible discriminatory practices regarding the education and employment of disabled persons;
(j) To make the development planning and programming of prevention and rehabilitation services an integral part of the national planning process;
(k) To implement existing programmes on measures for the prophylaxis of diseases as an important step in disability prevention;
(l) To make every effort to reliably assess the incidence of disablement,
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for example, by household surveys, in order to enable policy-making agencies to know the nature and size of the needs the services are designed to meet. Economic and social planning organs should be involved to a greater degree in questions concerning disability, the provision of rehabilitation services and the stimulation of the training of planning specialists in this field;
(m) To review their services and benefits to ensure that these assist and encourage disabled people to remain and/or become an integral part of the society wherein they live, rather than bring about segregation and isolation;
(n) When drawing up policies for the disabled, to place emphasis on developing their abilities, and provide information to the disabled on the services and benefits available to them;
(o) To initiate investigations into those restrictions and discriminatory actions that limit the freedom of the disabled to fully participate in society3 and to take whatever measures are necessary to remedy the situation;
(p) To provide adequate conditions, including unhindered access to the premises, for the full participation of disabled persons in education, work, and sports and other forms of recreation;
(q) To have regard for the need to introduce legislation to ensure that all new buildings and buildings to which major adaptations are being made are fully accessible to disabled people, and to recognize formally that disabled people have the same right of access to all public and social facilities as other people. This should also include measures to create and increase access to public information for deaf persons and those with impaired hearing and vision through, for instance, increased recording of literature on cassettes and transcription into Braille and providing hearing aids in public buildings and interpreter services for the deaf;
(r) As regards housing for disabled persons, to avoid segregated housing programmes that bring about an environment similar to institutional life and, in countries where institutions are being phased out, to transfer resources from institutional to "open" care, and ensure proper support to the disabled person at home and to the family;
(s) To review and, where necessary, revitalize programmes designed to prevent the occurrence of disability;
(t) To promote health in the context of "primary health care" to prevent disabilities, in particular those of prenatal and natal origin or occurring in early childhood, by undertaking activities designed to improve rehabilitation programmes, nutrition, maternal and child health services, proper assistance during pregnancy and delivery, mycobacterium disease control and the control of chronic diseases, both communicable and non-communicable;
(u) To enforce occupational safety rules and regulations as a preventive measure and adapt their application to a disabled person in employment to the individual's needs;
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(v) To make the working environment accessible to persons with restricted mobility, those with orientation problems and those with allergies. Attention should also be drawn to psychological factors in the working environment and the influence of working conditions on a person's mental health;
(w) To provide exemption from custom duties and taxes on machinery, equipment, aids and other materials used by or for the benefit of disabled persons because of their disabilities, and to provide also the necessary import licenses and foreign exchange allocations where applicable ;
(x) To ensure, as appropriate, that relevant non-governmental organizations are adequately involved in preparation and implementation of national programmes in the field of social services for the disabled;
(y) To give high priority to activities initiated by the disabled and to encourage the establishment of organizations of disabled persons;
(z) To appoint, if possible, representatives of disabled persons to the delegations attending international meetings, particularly when matters concerning them and the Year are discussed;
(aa) To proclaim a national day for disabled persons;
(bb) To submit national reports to the Secretary-General, by 31 March 1982, on the measures taken in observance of the Year.
69. The Advisory Committee also recommends that Member States should be invited
to bear in mind a number of activities at the national level proposed by Member
States and non-governmental organizations 3 contained in paragraph 37 of annex I to
the report of the Secretary-General on the International Year for Disabled
Persons (A/32/288) d/ and reproduced as appendix II to the present report.
C. Regional activities
70. The Committee recommends that regional commissions,' other regional intergovernmental organizations and/or interested Governments should be invited to convene regional or subregional meetings or seminars with a view to considering the best possible ways of implementing, within their particular regions, the objectives of the Year and the principles of the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons, and to making proposals concerning a draft long-term programme of action (see para. 74 (c) below).
71. The regional commissions for Africa, Asia, Latin America and Western Asia should be urged to convene regional meetings of the officers responsible for national programmes on the prevention of disability and on rehabilitation, with a
d/ A number of the proposals have been incorporated in the Committee's recommendations.
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view to exchanging experiences and considering the most effective ways to implement and follow up the objectives of the Year for the benefit of the entire population, including that in rural areas.
72. The urgent attention of the regional commissions should be drawn to the necessity of deciding, as early as possible, upon their contributions to the Year.
73. The Advisory Committee considers that it would be useful if international exhibitions on disability prevention and rehabilitation technology were organized, in connexion with the Year, on a regional basis, along the lines of exhibitions that have been organized in recent years in different countries.
D. united Nations programme
74. Recognizing the importance of concerted and co-ordinated efforts by the United Nations system to implement the objectives of the Year,. as enumerated in General Assembly resolution 31/123, the Advisory Committee recommends that:
(a) In conformity with the spirit of the Year, "full participation", the "International Year for Disabled Persons" should be redesignated the "International Year of Disabled Persons" and the theme of the Year should be' changed to "full participation and equality",
(b) The Secretary-General, in co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme should organize an action-oriented international symposium of experts from developing and some developed countries on technical co-operation among developing countries and technical assistance for disabled persons; the symposium would be held in one of the developing countries in 1981, for a period of 10 days, and have the following aims:
(i) To survey the pressing needs of developing countries in the field of services for disabled persons;
(ii) To evaluate the present technical assistance by the organizations of the United Nations system and to submit proposals for future programmes in this field, particularly with regard to the concrete plan for international assistance - by United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and through bilateral channels - for the education and rehabilitation of disabled people in developing countries and for encouraging research in these countries aimed at the fabrication of prototypes and the mass production of equipment by utilizing indigenous resources and expertise;
(iii) To work out specific approaches and strategies for the education and rehabilitation of disabled people in rural settings;
(iv) To consider possibilities and submit proposals for increased technical co-operation among developing countries in the field of production of equipment and organization of services for disabled persons;
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(c) A draft long-term programme of action should be prepared by the Secretary-General in consultation with Member States, the relevant organs, organizations and bodies within the United Nations system and international non-governmental organizations of and for disabled persons, which should be considered by the Advisory Committee at one of its proposed future sessions (see subpara. (i) below); the draft long-term programme of action should then be submitted to the General Assembly at its thirty-sixth session, through the Commission for Social Development and the Economic and Social Council;
(d) The Secretary-General should appeal to the developed nations to increase, strengthen and reinforce multilateral and bilateral programmes of economic and technical assistance to the developing nations for rehabilitation of the disabled so that the latter can become a self-reliant and productive force within their national societies;
(e) The United Nations should take the necessary steps to co-ordinate efforts between Member States and world agencies, thus ensuring that maximum help is afforded to disabled people, duplication of effort is avoided, and development of the programme for the Year as a basis for further long-term activities is encouraged;
(f) Absolute priority should be given to the provision of substantive support to Governments and national organizations in their activities for the Year in every administrative and financial provision adopted within the United Nations system for the implementation of and follow-up to the objectives of the Year;
(g) Non-governmental organizations should be invited to provide technical and financial support, as required, for the programmes of developing countries for the implementation of and follow-up to the objectives of the Year;
(h) The Secretary-General should undertake, in co-operation with the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, the widest possible dissemination of the technical advisory note on disability prevention and rehabilitation, No. 1202 of 30 April 1978 (G3400-l);
(i) The Secretary-General should organize further meetings of the Advisory Committee to evaluate progress in the implementation of the programme for the Year, to ensure an adequate follow-up to the Year, and to draft a report on the observance of the Year by Member States, the organs, organizations and bodies within the United Nations system, and the international non-governmental organizations concerned;
(j) The organizations concerned should adopt specific measures designed to implement fully the relevant recent resolutions of the United Nations and specialized agencies on disability prevention and rehabilitation;
(k) All the organs, organizations and bodies within the United Nations system should adopt the policy of employing more disabled persons;
(l) All the organs, organizations and bodies within the United Nations system should adopt the policy of holding their meetings, to the extent possible, where the facilities provided are accessible to all, including users of wheel¬chairs, deaf persons and those with impaired hearing who need sign-language interpreters, and persons with impaired vision who need documentation on cassettes or in Braille;
(m) Steps should he taken to encourage the adoption of measures by which international passenger transport (aeroplanes, buses, ferries, trains and ships) as well as the facilities used for them (such as airport buildings, terminals for aeroplanes, buses, ferries and ships, as well as railway stations) could be made accessible to all, including disabled persons using a wheel-chair, the blind, the deaf and others who have problems in using. such means of transport;
(n) A series of manuals should be prepared covering:
(i) Modification of architectural and other man-made barriers, to be carried out by the people themselves within community development programmes and co-operatives of disabled persons;
(ii) Model projects for the organization of residential and other physical facilities for disabled persons;
(iii) Systems and methods in development aid projects to eliminate existing barriers and to avoid the creation of new ones ;
(iv) Criteria for training national and local rehabilitation personnel in order that they may identify architectural and man-made barriers that could be eliminated or altered as part of general community improvement programmes ;
(v) Development of a series of indicators for assessing the level or degree of accessibility of existing buildings and facilities intended for
(o) Exchanges among countries should be facilitated in the field of rehabilitation, such as exchange of rehabilitation personnel, study tours and fellowships to visit rehabilitation facilities in other countries; at least 50 per cent of such fellowships should be awarded to disabled persons;
(p) The United Nations Postal Administration should issue a special stamp or stamps in 1981 to celebrate the Year, commemorative souvenir coins should be struck and the revenue from the sale of all these items should be allocated to activities for disability prevention and rehabilitation or for the integration of disabled persons into society;
(q) The United Nations should encourage:
(i) Activities of the organizations of and for disabled persons to contribute to the promotion of world peace and peaceful relations among States and peoples;
A/34/158 English Annex
(ii) Disabled persons all over the world to organize themselves to ensure their participation in the activities of the International Year;
(iii) The participation of other relevant international non-governmental
Organizations in the activities of the Year; in drawing up the draft long-term programme of action, the United Nations should ensure that it is informed of the activities of these groups;
(r) The United Nations and the World Health Organization, in connexion with the work on revising the Handbook of Household Surveys being carried out by the United Nations and the specialized agencies, should provide guidance on planning and conducting household sample surveys that will supply needed statistics on disabilities and disabled persons;
(s) The United Nations and the World Health Organization should continue the development and testing, in co-operation with interested countries, of concepts, classifications and definitions needed for the collection of statistics on disabilities and disabled persons;
(t) The necessary procedures should be adopted to provide for a review at an appropriate time to determine to what extent the objectives of the Year, including the full participation of disabled persons in community life, have been achieved as a result of the efforts made within the framework of the Year and whether other useful purposes have been served through these efforts;
(u) The Secretary-General should circulate the report of the meeting of the Advisory Committee to Member States as soon as possible so that delegations to the thirty-fourth session of the General Assembly can be fully prepared to take part in the discussion of the report at that session.
E, Public information programmes 75. The Advisory Committee recommends that:
(a) All publicity in connexion with the Year should reflect the view of
disability expressed in the introduction to the present section, which outlines
the conceptual framework and guiding principles for the recommendations (paras. 57-6 7
above); this means recognition of the fact that persons with various kinds
of disabilities, such as the deaf, persons with impaired hearing or impaired vision, the mentally retarded and mentally ill, persons with restricted mobility and various medical impairments, have different problems that demand different solutions; it also demands making a distinction between impairment, disability and handicaps and recognizing that disability is not primarily a problem of the individual but a relationship between the individual and the environment and concerns society as a whole;
(b) An emblem for the Year should be designed during the year 1979 so that
it can be used during 1980-1981 on posters, brochures and pamphlets both
internationally and nationally, and an international contest launched to design it;
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(c) The Secretary-General should continue to make every effort to promote campaigns to disseminate information on the objectives of the Year, to enlighten the public and heighten its awareness of the rights of disabled persons to participate in and contribute to the economic, social and political life of their societies and to raise community consciousness of the potential of disabled persons to do so;
(d) The Committee to Review United Nations Public Information Policies and Activities e/ should be requested to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-fifth session on the policies and activities of the public information services of the United Nations system regarding the Year, starting from
1 January 1979; f/
(e) The Secretary-General should direct the Inter-Organization Board for Information Systems of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination to issue an addendum to its Directory of United Nations Information Systems and Services, which would deal with the rehabilitation of disabled persons and related matters, and to distribute it to Member States with a view to preparing an international exchange of scientific information on the rehabilitation of disabled persons and facilitating the selection of the appropriate technology in prosthetic and other aids by the authorities concerned in the developing countries; g/
(f) In co-operation with the appropriate non-governmental organizations, an accessibility guide to the United Nations and its agencies should be prepared and published as part of the public information programme for the Year.
F. Activities of agencies and bodies within the United Nations system and interagency co-ordination
76. The Advisory Committee feels strongly that issues concerning disabled persons cannot be treated separately but should be integrated in the regular work of the agencies and bodies concerned. A direct purpose of the Year is to ensure this permanent integration. On the international and regional level, the specialized agencies and bodies concerned have a crucial role to play in this process. Accordingly, the Committee, noting the proposals and intentions of agencies and bodies within the United Nations system (A/AC.197/1, paras. 37-49)s recommends that:
e/ Established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 33/115 c of 18 December 1978.
f_/ See General Assembly resolution 33/170 of 20 December 1978.
g/ In particular, the information systems of the International Labour
Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the United Nations Development Programme.
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(a) The agencies and other bodies within the United Nations system should be urged to strengthen their capacity to carry out projects in the fields of disability prevention and rehabilitation of the disabled;
(b) The secretariats of the agencies and other bodies concerned should bring to the attention of their respective governing bodies, for adoption by them, concrete measures and programmes to implement the objectives of the Year as set out by the General Assembly in resolution 31/123 by according, inter alia, priority to the establishment of continuing and enduring services for preventing disabilities and providing care, employment and rehabilitation to the disabled persons of all countries, especially the developing countries;
(c) The activities of the agencies and bodies concerned, both during the Year and in the long term, should be well co-ordinated through continuing interagency consultations in which the competent international non-governmental organizations should also be invited to take part;
(d) The International Labor Organization should be invited to develop normative instruments for the benefit of disabled persons and continue its activities in the field of vocational rehabilitation;
(e) The World Health Organization should be invited to update clear international definitions of all terms used regarding disability prevention and rehabilitation and should strengthen basic health services with a view to making early detection of disabilities possible;
(f) In view of the mutuality of goals between the International Year of the Child and the International Year for Disabled Persons, the United Nations Children's Fund, in co-operation with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, should be invited to pay particular attention to disabled children, by focusing on methods for the prevention of disability from, childhood and contributing to outlining educational and rehabilitative programmes for disabled children so that programmes for the disabled in general can be strengthened and improved;
(g) The United Nations Development Programme should be requested to finance, in developing countries during the Year, some activities such as co-operatives, workshops or whatever other forms are considered suitable;
(h) The Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator should be requested to make its manual on disaster preparedness available also to those concerned with the prevention of disabilities and rehabilitation of the disabled;
(i) The United Nations and its agencies should be invited to make every effort to ensure that their documentation is available to all, in particular those documents which are of direct concern to disabled persons.
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List of documents before the Advisory Committee at its first session
A/AC.197/1 and Add.l
A/AC.197/WP.1 and Add.1-5
Agenda item 3
Report of the Secretary-General on the International Year for Disabled Persons
Report of the Secretary-General on the International Year for Disabled Persons: draft international programme for 1980-1981
Communication dated 5 March 1979 addressed to the Secretary-General by the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations
Argentina: draft resolution -International Year for Disabled Persons
Draft international programme for the International Year for Disabled Persons: consolidated draft recommendations submitted by the Rapporteur
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Activities at the national level proposed by Member States and non-governmental organizations a/
A number of different activities at the national level have been proposed by Member States and non-governmental organizations. In some cases, a clear indication has been given by the Governments concerned that the activities mentioned by them will also be carried out. Among the proposed activities are the following:
(i) Issue of a governmental declaration on the occasion of the International Year containing, for example, a list of priority measures required to promote social integration of disabled persons.
(ii) Formation of interministerial committees or co-ordinating councils, with participation of non-governmental organizations, to prepare and co-ordinate national programmes for the International Year and to take necessary follow-up measures. Formation of provincial committees for activities on the provincial level.
(iii) Strengthening and increasing the activities of government agencies concerned with the rehabilitation of disabled persons and providing these agencies with the necessary financial and technical means. Establishment of new rehabilitation centers, model projects for the delivery of rehabilitation services and workshops for disabled persons, as well as the encouragement of disabled persons themselves to establish co-operatives.
(iv) Integration of the services for disabled persons into general community development programmes, for example, through the development of simplified rehabilitation techniques, with opportunities for the disabled to work, be trained and be cared for within their communities. Expansion of services on referral levels (at health centers and hospitals, for instance) for those disabled persons whose needs cannot be. dealt with at the community level.
(v) Development of practical measures to increase the participation of disabled persons in community life.
(vi) Provision of adequate accommodation for severely disabled persons who,
because of their training and education, must live away from their homes and, in general, elimination of architectural barriers and eradication of discriminatory attitudes and prejudices that may impede the participation of disabled persons in community life,
a_/ previously issued as para. 37 of annex I to the report of the Secretary-General on the International Year for Disabled Persons (A/32/288). AS stated in foot-note e to para. 69 of the present report, a number of these proposals have been incorporated in the Committee's recommendations contained in sect. III.
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(vii) Special attention to disabled children and young people with a view-to creating suitable conditions for their preparation for life as adults in their communities, as well as for family relationships involving their adjustment to the society of able-bodied persons.
(viii) Promoting the access of persons with communication difficulties (deaf and blind persons) to normal public sources of information.
(ix) Organization of such special events as, for instance, a vocational
Rehabilitation week, as well as national congresses, seminars, workshops and similar events on specific areas of rehabilitation and related questions;
(x) Provision of adequate rehabilitation services for disabled women and, in particular, for the elderly among them, whose number is proportionately high in some countries, as well as for certain groups of disabled persons whose specific needs may not be met within more general rehabilitation programmes (for example, those with myocardial infarction or mental disorders).
(xi) Review of existing legislation and formulation of proposals for new
provisions concerning disabled persons, in particular those devoted to the protection of the fundamental rights of disabled persons, such as education, rehabilitation and employment specifically, and implementation of the objectives of the International Year.
(xii) Increasing employment opportunities for disabled persons in government offices and agencies and State enterprises in particular. Adaptation of jobs to meet the specific requirements of disabled persons.
(xiii) Provision of adequate conditions for educating disabled persons in public schools and universities, including unhindered access to the premises, and formulation of programmes for their continuing education.
(xiv) Provision of necessary appliances and technical aids to all disabled persons who need them.
(xv) Promotion of measures aimed at preventing disabilities, in particular
those of prenatal and natal origin or occurring in early childhood. In this regard, attention should be given to improving nutrition, immunization, mycobacterium disease control, early detection of disabilities, and maternal and child health services. Attention should also be given to genetic guidance; avoidance of industrial hazards causing genetic injuries; requiring hospitals to find special ways of receiving and treating disabled persons on special occasions, such as dealing with the deaf in emergency rooms; and programmes for the prevention of blindness.
(xvi) Greater recognition of occupational safety hazards, enforcement of occupational safety rules and regulations, and development of road safety measures.
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(xvii) Adherence of all Governments to the UNESCO Agreement on the
Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials.
(xviii) Informing disabled persons and their families of their rights and responsibilities in the community.
(xix) Carrying out of national censuses of all disabled persons.
(xx) Proclamation of a national day for disabled persons.
(xxi) Honoring disabled persons who have distinguished themselves as Well as persons who have rendered outstanding services to their rehabilitation.
(xxii) Promotion of mass media campaigns to disseminate information on the objectives of the International Year, enlighten the public and raise its awareness of the rights of disabled persons to participate and contribute to the economic, social and political life of their societies as well as to raise community consciousness of the potentials of disabled persons to do that.
(xxiii) Preparation of promotional films in national languages to be shown in
Cinemas and on television throughout the International Year in order to explain to the public the meaning, objectives and methods of rehabilitation.
(xxiv) Seeking and commissioning studies, statistics and other scientific data concerning disabilities.
(xxv) Publication of documentation on national policies and achievements
Concerning rehabilitation of disabled persons and of articles and fact sheets on different aspects of rehabilitation and on the participation of the disabled in community life.
(xxvi) Organization of arts and crafts exhibitions of work by disabled persons. The exhibitions may also include appliances and aids needed by disabled persons, demonstrations of preventive measures, explanations of specific problems of disabled persons and facilities available for their rehabilitation and the changing of attitudes towards particular disabilities, such as leprosy. Exhibitions could also be organized as tourist attractions to demonstrate disabled persons' skills and achievements and the results of rehabilitation measures.
Organization of special ceremonies at major rehabilitation centers. Example, to observe the International Year.
Organization of educational programmes in schools, churches and with community groups about disabled persons' rights, their integration into the community and the problems involved. Special attention should be given to approaching the children 7 to 15 years of age inasmuch as attitudes towards disabilities, among other things, can best be affected at that age.
English Annex Page 31
(xxix) Publicity regarding the accessibility of buildings to disabled persons and the need for eliminating architectural barriers, including distribution of a "Building for the Disabled Award".
(xxx) Organization of competitions'innschools (for example, in writing essays) and among artists for the design of posters.
(xxxi) Organization of sports events for disabled persons.
(xxxii) Organization of training and vacation camps for handicapped children.
(xxxiii) Issue of special stamps commemorating the Year, the proceeds from the
sale of which should be used for the promotion of services for disabled persons (additional income for this purpose might come from a special tax on cinema tickets and from the sale of various souvenir items related to the International Year).
(xxxiv) Exemption from customs duties and company commissions on cultural and vocational equipment, as well as on instruments needed by disabled persons and on their daily necessities. Exemption also from customs duties and taxes on machinery, equipment, instruments and raw materials used in rehabilitating disabled persons in rehabilitation centres.
(xxxv) Attention to the training of rehabilitation personnel, including
additional upgrading and specialized training of medical, paramedical and social work personnel and other professionals directly concerned with rehabilitation of the disabled.
(xxxvi) Organization of fund-raising campaigns for financing activities for the benefit of disabled persons.