Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons : report of the Secretary-General.
|UN Document Symbol||A/46/366|
|Convention||Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities|
|Document Type||Report of the Secretary-General|
26 p., table
|Subjects||Persons with Disabilities, Equal Opportunity, Non-Governmental Organizations|
22 August 1991
Item 95 (a) of the provisional agenda*
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE WORLD SOCIAL SITUATION AND TO YOUTH, AGEING, DISABLED PERSONS AND THE
Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the United Nations Decade of Disabled
Report of the secretary-General CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION 1 - 3 3
II. PRINCIPAL RECOMMENDATIONS 4 - 14 3
III. FROM AWARENESS TO ACTION 15 - 26 5
A. Implications of implementing the new approach
"From awareness to action" 21 - 24 6
B. Focus of activities 25 - 26 6
IV. PROGRESS MADE ON SELECTED ACTIVITIES 27 - 87 7
A. Integrating the needs and concerns of disabled
Persons into planning 27 - 52 7
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B. National and international legislation to promote
And protect the rights of disabled persons 53 - 59 11
C. Standard Rules for Equalization of Opportunities. 60 - 61 11
D. Strengthening national disability coordinating
Mechanisms 62 - 65 12
E. Promoting disabled persons' organizations 66 - 87 13
V. ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO MARK THE END OF THE DECADE 68 - 89 16
VI. PREPARATIONS FOR A LONG-TERM STRATEGY TO THE YEAR 2000
AND BEYOND 90 - 92 17
VII. VOLUNTARY FUND FOR THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF
DISABLED PERSONS 93 - 105 17
I. Calendar of events to mark the end of the Decade 21
II. List of Projects 23
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1. On 19 December 1990, the General Assembly adopted resolution 45/91, entitled "Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons". In paragraph 13 of that resolution, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the resolution at its forty-sixth session.
2. In the present report prominence is given to the following requests contained in the above-mentioned resolution:
(a) To shift the focus of the United Nations programme on disability from awareness-raising to action, with the aim of achieving a society for all by the year 2010 and of responding more appropriately to the many requests for assistance and advisory services;
(b) To assist Governments in establishing and strengthening national committees on disability issues, and similar coordinating bodies, and to promote and support the establishment of effective national organizations of disabled persons, including umbrella organizations;
(c) To continue seeking contributions to the Voluntary Fund from Governments and non-governmental organizations so as to enable it to respond effectively to the growing demand for assistance; and
(d) To invite Governments to submit updated national reports to the Secretary-General on the implementation of the agenda for action.
3. In preparing the present report, the Secretary-General has taken into
consideration views expressed by Member States and organizations of the United
Nations system in different intergovernmental forums, such as the Third
Committee of the forty-fifth session of the General Assembly, the Commission
for Social Development at its thirty-second session and the Economic and
Social Council at its first regular session for 1991. Other relevant
information from Member States, the United Nations system, and
non-governmental organizations recently made available to the Secretariat has
also been included.
II. PRINCIPAL RECOMMENDATIONS
4. In view of the need to promote integrated policies on disability, Governments, bodies of the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations should be requested to give commensurate priority to develop an integrated policy approach as part of their ongoing activities for sustainable socio-economic development.
5. A specific conceptual framework for a mechanism through which Governments can maintain intensified cooperation and collaboration with donor agencies and international non-governmental organizations may be developed.
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6. There is also a need to make provisions at all levels for regular monitoring and evaluation. The General Assembly may wish to call upon concerned parties to review and evaluate their current disability-related policies, programmes and available services. Such a review should be made with the active participation of disabled persons and should identify areas in which major progress has been achieved as well as obstacles encountered in prevention, rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities. The outcome of these reviews should be transmitted to the Secretariat, with a view to incorporating them in the report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly at its forty-seventh session.
7. The General Assembly may wish to encourage Governments and bodies of the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to participate actively in the elaboration of the standard rules on the equalization of opportunities for disabled persons, as mandated by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1990/26.
8. In view of the importance of the coordinating role of national disability committees, the Assembly may wish to endorse the Guidelines on the Establishment and Development of National Committees on Disability or Similar Bodies prepared at the International Meeting on the Rules and Functions of National Coordinating Committees on Disability in Developing Countries held at Beijing from 5 to 11 November 1990. It may wish to encourage Governments to consider the principles enunciated in the Guidelines and review the role and functions of such national committees.
9. The General Assembly may wish to endorse the Guidelines on the development of organizations of disabled persons prepared by the United Nations Office at Vienna, Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, and encourage Governments to apply the guidelines in their national programmes.
10. The General Assembly may wish to consider devoting four of its plenary meetings at its forty-seventh session to mark, at the appropriate global level, the conclusion of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, as recommended by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1991/9.
11. The General Assembly may wish to encourage Governments to support major events such as meetings and seminars organized by disabled persons' organizations and facilitate participation of disabled persons in events organized to mark the end of the Decade. These events will have a significant impact on the development of post decade policies and programmes.
12. With reference to Economic and Social Council resolution 1991/9, the General Assembly may wish to endorse the convening, in Vancouver, of a meeting of experts in conjunction with "Independence 1992", to be hosted by the Government of Canada, with the primary objective of drawing up a global long-term strategy until the year 2000 and beyond.
13. The General Assembly may also wish to endorse the offer of the Government of the United States of America to sponsor, in collaboration with the United
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Nations, a high-level interregional encounter on disability, as well as the International Conference entitled "Setting National Disability Policies - An Agenda for Action", planned for New York, in late 1992. The United Nations should utilize the above-mentioned events to seek the views of Governments and of all relevant organizations, in preparing long-term strategies at the national level.
14. The General Assembly may consider continuing the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade for Disabled Persons, with new terms of reference responding to General Assembly resolution 45/91, which calls for a shift from awareness raising to action. In view of the increasing number of requests for assistance, the General Assembly may further consider establishing an international foundation on disability to mobilize resources.
III. FROM AWARENESS TO ACTION
15. In its resolution 45/91, the General Assembly called for shifting the focus of the United Nations disability programme from awareness-raising to action, with the aim of achieving a society for all by the year 2010, and to respond more appropriately to the many requests for assistance and advisory services. The Economic and Social Council, in its resolution 1991/85, requested Member States to give concrete support to the efforts of the Secretary-General to develop sustainable activities that would benefit disabled persons, particularly in countries with a special need for international assistance.
16. A major achievement of the International Year of Disabled Persons and the United Nations Decade has been increased awareness on disability worldwide. The translation of the basic concepts and principles of the World Programme of Action, however, into practical measures should be coherent in all endeavors. The integration of the objectives into the development process and strategies, as stipulated in the World Programme of Action, is an integral part of the new approach to disability issues. With its emphasis on action-oriented programmes, this new approach is supported by Governments as evidenced in their replies to the Secretariat.
17. In Australia and France, for example, several initiatives have been taken in the areas of legislation, employment, education and accessibility, to translate the theme and vision of the International Year of Disabled Persons of full participation and equality, into practical measures.
18. Austria, China, Guyana, India, Jordan, the Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe have in various ways underlined the need for the United Nations to take concrete, practical and effective steps to promote the well-being of disabled persons, particularly in developing countries.
19. Denmark and the United States of America underscored that the objectives of the end of the Decade might best be marked by elaborating new policies and translating the World Programme into action.
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20. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have taken decisions to upgrade disability programmes and to integrate disability components into all technical cooperation programmes, while the European Community supports the policy of giving priority to concrete projects.
A. Implications for the United Nations of implementing the new approach "From awareness to action"
21. It is imperative that Governments now focus their efforts on implementing the World Programme of Action, aiming at a long-term effect. The priority task of the United Nations would be to help Governments formulate clear and comprehensive responses to the challenges of disability.
22. During the 1980s, a number of guidelines and manuals on key disability issues were prepared by the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Office at Vienna and other United Nations agencies. These guidelines, however, have neither been adequately incorporated in national disability programmes nor applied in the provision of services to disabled persons in the majority of countries. During the 1990s, the Centre plans to focus more on field-oriented activities, including technical advisory missions to assist Member States in adapting the guidelines and manuals to their specific conditions. Such advisory services would be provided more frequently in the form of intensive consultations, with active participation of Government representatives, the United Nations bodies, non-governmental organizations, and disabled persons themselves.
23. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Promotion of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons continues to attempt to mobilize financial resources for projects benefiting the disabled community, as well as contributions to the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.
24. Intensified cooperation between the United Nations disability programme and international and national non-governmental organizations is essential if field activities are to be successfully carried out. Links have already been established, which are expected to result in field-oriented and long-term strategies beyond the Decade, with targets to be reached by various agencies by the year 2010.
B. Focus of activities
25. The following four key themes require special attention:
(a) Facilitating the integration of disability issues into the planning of socio-economic policies, programmes and projects that would promote the integration of disabled persons into the mainstream;
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(b) Promoting the recognition and protection of the rights of disabled persons through the formulation and implementation of comprehensive national and international disability legislation;
(c) Facilitating the adoption of a coordinated, cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary approach to disability through the establishment of national coordinating mechanisms;
(d) Promoting the establishment of disabled persons' organizations, and providing adequate supportive measures for their effective functioning.
26. The planned activities of the Centre under the above-mentioned themes include the following:
(a) Expanding advisory services to Governments, particularly to developing countries;
(b) Assisting Governments in setting goals, formulating national agendas, designing integrated policy approaches and producing feasible long-term strategies for the integration of disabled persons by the year 2010;
(c) Increasing cooperation with other organizations dealing with disability;
(d) Supporting innovative field projects of direct benefit to disabled persons and identifying resources for the support of such projects.
IV. PROGRESS MADE ON SELECTED ACTIVITIES
A. Integrating the needs and concerns of disabled persons into planning
27. The concept of a society for all aims at creating opportunities for all its members to develop their full potential, and to accommodate the needs and concerns of all. This goal can be achieved if the needs and concerns of all, in particular disabled persons, are integrated into national development planning at the initial stage. This will enable persons with disabilities to contribute to their own well-being and to the development of society.
28. Disability poses challenges on many fronts and requires a coherent, comprehensive response rather than isolated projects or piecemeal approaches that often characterize disability programmes. In order to produce an easy-to-use planning instrument, the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Issues is developing guidelines and a manual on integrated planning in two phases, scheduled for completion in 1993.
29. The first phase is expected to result in guidelines and a manual on integrating the needs and concerns of disabled persons into development projects in the economic, social and health sectors. The second phase is
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Intended to produce a planning instrument for the inclusion of disability issues into national development plans within the context of an integrated policy approach, these planning instruments are expected to facilitate considerably the process of transformation of the United Nations disability programme from awareness to action.
30. Fact-finding and consultation missions to the regions of Asia and the Pacific and Africa have already been undertaken in order to collect information on successful projects integrating disability concerns into development projects, and to establish cooperation for further work on the guidelines and the manual. Subject to the availability of resources, the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Issues plans to design training-kits and support pilot projects aimed at formulating comprehensive policies on disability in developing countries.
31. At the international level, many of the United Nations bodies and specialized agencies have incorporated needs and concerns of disabled persons in their activities. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 45/91, the Department of Technical Cooperation for Development of the United Nations has formed a support group for disability programmes in developing countries.
32. Strongly encouraged by the Eighth Inter-Agency Meeting on the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, held at Vienna from 5 to 7 December 1990, the United Nations Development Programme proposed to approach disability programmes in conjunction with the forthcoming programming exercise for the United Nations Development Programme Fifth Cycle (1992-1997), with a view to addressing disability issues in development planning and technical cooperation activities.
33. The United Nations Statistical Office is currently incorporating statistics on disability into its Statistical Database System and promoting the coverage of disability issues by national censuses. The Statistical Office has issued its first international compendium of disability statistics, based upon the national statistics available in the United Nations Statistics Database.
34. The specialized agencies of the United Nations have expanded their activities in the field of disability. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has included the specific needs of disabled persons in its employment-promotion and training programmes.
35. The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently assessing the use of the community-based approach in the development of rehabilitation services. The manual on Training in the Community for People with Disabilities is available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, and translation is underway in Chinese, Portuguese and several Asian and African languages.
36. The activities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the field of disability address the educational needs of children And young people with disabilities through educational approaches and community-based programmes, integrating them into regular schools.
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37. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in collaboration with ILO, is preparing a plan of action to stimulate income-generating activities for disabled persons and the development of community support systems.
38. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continues to help disabled refugees promote self-help groups to overcome marginalization and has organized a series of courses on rehabilitation for community workers, medical staff and teachers.
39. Several entities of the United Nations system, including the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), WHO, and UNESCO, have reported substantial progress on provisions for the accessibility of disabled persons to conference premises and documentation. Buildings management of all agencies have been requested to survey their premises for accessibility and to identify the most cost-effective means of removing, step by step, the physical obstacles that hinder or restrict the free movement of disabled persons.
40. At the regional level, the United Nations commissions have given consideration to the inclusion of disability issues into their ongoing policies and programmes.
41. The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, for instance, included in its 1990-1991 work programme two technical studies entitled "Transfer of appropriate technologies for disabled persons in the ESCWA region" and "Second round monitoring of the implementation of the World Programme of Action in the ESCWA region". It also plans to strengthen the existing focal unit on disability issues in order to meet the pressing needs of the increasing number of disabled persons in the region as a result of armed conflicts and civil unrest.
42. The Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) plans a series of three workshops on rehabilitation engineering. As its contribution to mark the end of the Decade, ECE will publish a major study on these issues in 1992.
43. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has launched a project for assisting the development of self-help organizations of disabled persons so that the representation of disabled persons on national committees might be strengthened. The Commission serves as the secretariat of the Asian-Pacific Inter-organizational Task Force on Disability-related Concerns, whose goals include promoting the development of regional programmes and support services for disabled persons through networking and information exchange.
44. At the national level, successful examples of Member States integrating
diverse disability issues into national planning have been reported.
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45. In the Lao People's Democratic Republic, a national programme for the development of community-based rehabilitation was formulated in accordance with the national plan for primary health-care programme development. Eight provinces were selected to conduct pilot projects.
46. Malaysia's efforts in the delivery of services to disabled persons have been boosted by the formulation of its first National Social Welfare Policy which emphasizes integrated programmes and activities for disabled persons. In addition, some 50 projects are underway throughout the country, providing community-based services for mentally disabled children.
47. The Netherlands is restructuring its social policies and plans, in order to integrate the needs and concerns of disabled persons into social services, traffic and transport, education, medical care for victims of accidents, housing and working environments.
48. Norway is promoting an integrated approach by including the concerns of disabled persons in its overall planning programme: housing projects, employment schemes, technology development, education and training, transport, communication, environment and communication activities.
49. In Pakistan, the objectives of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons have provided a basis for a national plan of action for disabled persons. Its implementation is a part of its Seventh Five-Year Development Plan, which aims at creating facilities for education and vocational rehabilitation training in order to establish a rehabilitation programme.
50. The Philippines Development Plan for 1988 to 1992 contains substantial plans and programmes aimed at improving the welfare of disabled persons. The focus is on community-based rehabilitation, promotion of self-reliance and enhancement of human dignity. In 1990, as an important planning instrument, a national census conducted by the Government contained a questionnaire on disability.
51. Turkey reported that its Sixth Five-Year Plan has included the development of medical services, rehabilitation centers and institutions catering to disabled persons, with the goal of integrating them into the daily life of society and reducing the dependence of disabled persons on social services.
52. In China, Fiji, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the concerns of disabled persons have been incorporated in national plans and programmes. Fiji, for example, is currently providing educational and vocational training for all disabled persons under their development plan for education and employment.
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B. National and international legislation to promote and protect the rights of disabled persons
53. Legislation to guarantee disabled persons the right to exercise their full citizenship should be considered as an essential step in the development and implementation of measures in favor of disabled persons.
54. The Centre is currently preparing a manual on national disability legislation in developing countries, which is expected to be completed by the end of 1992. In connection with that work the Centre has been informed of a number of initiatives and achievements in the field of national disability legislation in different countries.
55. In China, a law on the protection of people with disabilities was adopted and later enacted on 15 May 1991. That law guarantees equal rights of disabled persons in all aspects of life, and in particular, their access to special services and protection. It also promotes measures to create employment for disabled persons.
56. Germany has recently submitted a bill to Parliament designed to abolish the discriminatory legal status of adults with mental impairment. That bill intends to replace the obsolete legal institutions of guardianship and receivership, with flexible instruments for personal care.
57. In the United States of America, the Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protection to disabled persons. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, State and local government services and telecommunications. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled individuals, involving job restructuring and modification of equipment as required. Regarding transportation, several practical measures have been taken, including the accessibility to all now public transport buses ordered after August 1990.
58. In December 1990, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics adopted a law on basic principles for the social protection of disabled persons. It provides for various forms of social assistance aimed at eliminating obstacles to the equalization of opportunities for disabled persons and promoting their right to health protection, employment, education, vocational training and housing, as well as other socio-economic considerations.
59. The Government of Zimbabwe is working on a new draft bill which aims at according disabled persons an equal status in society. That bill is being drafted in close collaboration with organizations of disabled persons.
C. Standard Rules for Equalization of Opportunities
60. The Commission for Social Development, at its thirty-second session, decided in its resolution 32/2 to establish an ad hoc open-ended working group
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Of Government experts funded by voluntary contributions to elaborate standard rules on the equalization of opportunities for disabled persons, as authorized by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1990/26. The Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs will provide secretariat support to the working group.
61. The objective of the new standard rules would be to provide Governments with a tool to facilitate the practical implementation of the World Programme of Action and of other international instruments. The working group is requested to complete its work in a maximum of three meetings, one in September 1991 and two in 1992. The text of the rules will be submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-eighth session. The Group, to be composed of Government representatives with expert knowledge in the disability field, is open to all Member States and should work in close collaboration with the specialized agencies of the United Nations, other intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations.
D. Strengthening national disability coordinating mechanisms
62. In its resolution 42/58, the General Assembly invited Member States to establish and reinforce national disability committees. The Centre and the Department of Technical Cooperation for Development convened an International Meeting on the Roles and Functions of National Coordinating Committees on Disability in Developing Countries at Beijing, from 5 to 11 November 1990, to develop a set of guidelines for that purpose.
63. The governmental experts attending the meeting emphasized the need to bring the guidelines to the attention of all Member States, the specialized agencies of the United Nations and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with disability, for appropriate action. It was further proposed that the Secretariat of the United Nations disseminate the guidelines as widely as possible and that they be duly adapted by Member States to meet their specific national requirements.
64. Accordingly, the Centre is issuing the guidelines in the six official languages and in Braille, in order to increase the range of dissemination and accessibility. In addition, some countries will translate the guidelines into their national languages. A Directory of National Disability Committees, providing information on the structure, composition, main functions and activities pertaining to Governments, has also been prepared. To assist Member States in setting up their national coordinating mechanisms, advisory missions were sent to Chad, Cote d'lvoire, Guatemala, and Nepal. Many countries are already developing and further strengthening their coordinating mechanisms on disability. Among these are Afghanistan, Botswana, China, Denmark, Ghana, Indonesia, Oman, Romania, Turkey and the Soviet Union.
65. Measures are being taken by the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs to arrange regional training seminars and study tours as a follow-up to the 1990 Beijing Meeting. Subject to the availability of
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resources, similar training meetings may be organized for countries of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation, in Nepal; for the South Pacific, in Fiji; and for West Africa, in Ghana.
E. Promoting disabled persons' organizations
66. The International Year of Disabled Persons and the Decade have created a worldwide awareness of the needs and rights of disabled persons as persons with equal rights and obligations. Many persons with disabilities have organized themselves in order to speak out in defense of their rights as citizens and for their well-being. Recognizing the impact of such a development as a vital force for change, the World Programme of Action strongly encouraged the formation and strengthening of organizations of disabled persons at the local, national, regional and international levels. Such organizations have been growing rapidly and are being recognized by national and international authorities as important channels for communicating the needs of the disabled. Recent reports indicate that in support of such development, concrete steps have already been taken by many Member States. In the African region, for example, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, the Niger and Zimbabwe have witnessed an increase in the number of organizations that are supported by the Government.
67. In Belgium, a decree points to the participation of organizations of disabled people in decision-making processes especially regarding the aid system to disabled persons.
68. In the Dominican Republic, associations of disabled persons are involved in various training programmes, national survey programmes for delivery of services, and income-generating projects, all of which can be characterized as contributing to growth and development. The associations also receive support for their work from the private sector.
69. In Finland, cooperation between Government authorities and organizations of disabled persons, through the Disability Council, has developed during the Decade. These organizations also promote equal opportunities and arrange services financed by public funds. They are also actively involved in the preparations of policies aimed at the welfare of disabled citizens.
70. The Government of Indonesia promotes and strengthens organizations of disabled persons and encourages consultations. These organizations are more involved in community-based rehabilitation activities, and jointly utilizing existing facilities.
71. In Malaysia, the Government encouraged the formation of the Confederation of the Disabled in Malaysia, which receives grants from the Government, and is involved in decision-making, planning and implementation of programmes.
72. The Government of the Philippines promotes the establishment of organizations of disabled persons. There is a representative of the disabled
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Sector in Congress, who holds "think-in" sessions on a regular basis with the leaders of disabled organizations for input into any legislative measure.
73. In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, disabled persons' organizations and their legal representatives are entitled to receive the necessary information and to participate in the decision-making processes directly affecting their interests. That principle is embodied in the "Basic Principles for the Social Protection of Disabled Persons in the USSR", developed in December 1990.
74. In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, disabled persons continue to participate in developing new services, as Government and local authorities have involved them in consultative committees. The Disabled Persons Act of 1986, section 10, requires close consultation with organizations of disabled persons.
75. The Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs has supported a number of projects through the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons by providing financial support for the promotion of catalytic and innovative activities undertaken by organizations of and for disabled persons (see table 1 and annex II).
76. As part of its efforts to assist Member States in strengthening organizations of disabled persons, the Centre, with resources provided by the Fund, undertook a major project in 1990 that identified the support and advice needed by newly established organizations, specifically those in developing countries. As a result of the project, a set of practical guidelines for developing and strengthening organizations of disabled persons was compiled, based upon information provided by 230 organizations of disabled persons.
77. Using already available United Nations guidelines relevant to organizations of disabled persons, the Centre is making arrangements for providing technical assistance to Member States in applying and adapting these instruments to suit their particular needs. It is also preparing a training programme to be implemented in 1991 and 1992 in ten countries; four in Africa, three in Latin America and the Caribbean, and three in the Asian and Pacific region.
78. The On-Stream Pilot Programme (Organizations' and National Committees' Strengthening Through Review, Exchange of Information, Assistance and Mobilization) is one of the Centre's efforts to implement the World Programme of Action, using an action-oriented approach for strengthening collaboration between national committees, non-governmental organizations and organizations of disabled persons. The Programme has as its main components training, dissemination of information, basic organizational management and leadership skills.
79. Missions have already been undertaken in 1990 and 1991 to Chad, Cote d'lvoire, Guatemala and Nepal to assist the Governments in setting up a training programme and developing course contents for organizations of
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Disabled persons, keeping in mind the close cooperation needed with the National Coordinating Committees. Contacts with external donor agencies have been established to seek extra budgetary funding for national training programmes.
60. Responding to recommendations made at the Global Meeting of Experts to Review the Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons at the mid-point of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, held at Stockholm in 1987, the Centre has established a forum to coordinate and network activities undertaken by international non-governmental organizations. The purpose of the forum is to exchange information on programmes and plans and to discuss issues of mutual interest related to the end of the Decade and beyond. Consultative meetings with all major international non-governmental organizations were jointly organized at Vienna, with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Promotion of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons in 1989 and 1990. Meetings are being held annually in conjunction with the inter-agency mechanism, in order to enable non-governmental organizations to provide input for the proposed agendas for discussion. A directory of non-governmental organizations encompassing organizations both of and for disabled persons has been compiled in 1990.
81. The Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific is implementing a
project of assistance towards the development of self-help organizations of
disabled persons. The preparation of a set of regional guidelines on the
establishment and strengthening of self-help organizations of disabled persons
is underway. To this end, an expert group meeting was convened at Bangkok,
from 4 to 7 February 1991. Three national training workshops will be convened
during 1991 in Fiji, Nepal and Sri Lanka, each having a different focus. The
workshop in Fiji will aim at supporting advocacy, while work on legislation
will be emphasized at the workshop in Nepal. The workshop in Sri Lanka will
serve to initiate a self-help movement of people with mental disabilities.
Activities of International non-governmental organizations
82. The World Federation of the Deaf is involved in indigenous sign-language
development and in assisting countries to establish national organizations of
deaf people. It has initiated 80 member organizations with regional offices
in Asia, Europe and South America and plans expansion to Africa. To mark the
end of the Decade, the Federation held its World Congress from 2 to
11 July 1991, in Japan, to prepare a declaration on the rights of disabled persons.
83. The International League of Societies for Persons with Mental Handicap
(ILSMH), in collaboration with ILO, carried out a series of training workshops
for 12 English-speaking African countries. During the workshops, 19 modules
for the training of persons with mental handicaps were prepared. The Tenth
World Congress of ILSMH was held in Paris, from 5 to 10 August 1990, with the
theme "Turning rights into realities", which focused on the practical
application of the rights of persons with mental disabilities proclaimed in
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84. The World Blind Union, with affiliated organizations in 120 countries, has organized sensitization and leadership training courses in different regions in order to advance the status of blind persons. It has also initiated the standardization of the Chinese Braille code.
85. The Francophone Committee of Disabled Peoples' International is acting as a network for providing additional project and communication support to its French-speaking affiliated organizations.
86. Rehabilitation International is represented by over 300 organizations in 85 countries. It has seven committees and commissions, which assist in carrying out most of its activities, and a network of more than 4,000 experts working in the disability field has been set up.
87. In August 1990, the Standing Women's Committee of the Disabled Peoples' International organized a seminar at Vienna on disabled women in close cooperation with the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. It provided a forum for disabled women to discuss issues of direct concern to them.
V. ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO MARK THE END OF THE DECADE (AT NATIONAL, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS)
88. The Expert Group Meeting on Alternative Ways to Mark the End of the Decade, held at Jarvenpaa, Finland in May 1990, and the Eighth Inter-Agency Meeting on the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, held at Vienna from 5 to 7 December 1990, recommended that the United Nations link its end of Decade activities with those planned by Governments, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations at all levels (see annex II). In that context, various international, regional and national events organized by Member States and non-governmental organizations will take place in 1991 and 1992. The Centre is actively involved in the organization of these events, including providing information and sending representatives.
89. Coordinated by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat, and in collaboration with other organizations concerned, the bodies of the United Nations system have launched a project to produce a major system-wide publication in 1992. It will contain an account of examples of successful policies, programmes and projects that have been developed during the Decade and will serve as models, adapted to different socio-economic and cultural settings. The Department further plans to jointly publish with the Centre, a full-color, illustrated and concise version of the World Programme of Action and to produce a high-quality poster to mark the end of the Decade in 1992.
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VI. PREPARATIONS FOR A LONG-TERM STRATEGY TO THE YEAR 2000 AND BEYOND
90. As requested by General Assembly resolution 45/91, the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs will prepare of a long-term strategy towards a society for all in order to ensure the continuation of the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons beyond the Decade. This is being done in close cooperation with international and national organizations, including those of disabled persons. The second-round monitoring of the implementation of the World Programme of Action will provide a forward-looking account of the Decade and establish a point of reference for the long-term strategy. The strategy will be enhanced through active involvement of Governments, United Nations bodies and agencies and non-governmental organizations, particularly of disabled persons' organizations.
91. Following the recommendation of the Eighth Inter-Agency Meeting, the Centre is preparing practical guidelines that will help the bodies of the United Nations system to formulate their contribution to the long-term strategy. This strategy will in itself contain guidelines for the future role of the inter-agency meetings on the disability programmes beyond 1992.
92. As recommended by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1991/85, additional input to the long-term strategy will be drawn from the United Nations Expert Group Meeting, to be convened in conjunction with "Independence 1992", at Vancouver, Canada, in April 1992. Specific guidelines for a long-term strategy towards the year 2000 and beyond, of priority to Member States, are expected to be elaborated during the High-Level Interregional Encounter on Disability and the International Conference on Setting National Disability Policies - An Agenda for Action, planned for October 1992, in New York. The process should give impetus to a renewed political commitment by Governments to the cause of disabled persons and to a sustainable programme to meet the challenges of the 1990s.
VII. VOLUNTARY FUND FOR THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF DISABLED PERSONS
93. The Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons continues to play a vital role in furthering the implementation of the development objectives of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons through its support for catalytic and innovative action of benefit to disabled persons and reinforcing disability concerns in mainstream development. The present report covers the activities of the Fund for the period 1989-1990.
94. At the end of 1990, the Fund had provided a total of over $US 2.7 million in grants to 147 disability-related projects, of which, $556,150 was disbursed during 1989-1990, for 42 projects (see annex II). Additionally, a total of
19 projects were reviewed in 1991, involving an estimated $300,000 in seed-money or co-financing grants.
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95. The African region, whose critical economic and social situation adds particular urgency to the needs of disabled persons, accounted for the greatest share of projects supported, 31 per cent ($171,350); Asia and the Pacific, 23 per cent ($128,500), reflecting an increase in requests for assistance by organizations of disabled persons; Western Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, 20 and 7 per cent respectively ($108,870 and $41,600). One fifth of the projects ($150,520) involved support for interregional technical exchanges, training and research.
96. Capacity-building and institutional developments were the main focus of Fund-assisted activities. Training continued to remain a priority area, accounting for 43 per cent of all grants; followed by establishment and development of organizations of or concerned with disabled persons, accounting for 30 per cent, and technical exchanges of knowledge and experiences, accounting for 20 per cent.
97. The Fund gives special attention to training of trainers, income-generation and leadership development, and technical exchanges of knowledge and information.
Table 1. Distribution of January 1989 to grants by subject December 1990 area *
1 Area Number of projects approved Value of grants (dollars)
1. Support to organizations of
or concerned with disabled persons 10 165 770
2. Data collection/applied research 2 15 500
3. Training 17 236 600
4. Technical exchanges 12 113 280
5. Technical cooperation on disability policies and programmes 1 25 000
Total 42 556 150
98. In Indonesia, the Fund co-financed the training of physically disabled persons in the production and sale of wooden toys; in India, the Fund supported the initiation of a programme to train disabled persons in the use and operation of computers, which is part of a large-scale computerization
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programme of the Institute of Science, Nagpur, Maharashtra State; and in the Congo, the Fund is assisting the African Rehabilitation Institute's sub regional Centre at Brazzaville strengthen its library and documentation capacities by co-financing the acquisition of critically needed training and resource material on disability issues.
99. The Fund has continued its support of the innovative training programme
for voice trainers from developing Asian and Pacific countries of the Asian
Federation of Laryngectomees Associations; it also co-financed the publication
and distribution in Braille of the "International Newsletter for the
Deaf-Blind" of the World Blind Union, the only periodical of its kind. As part of the Fund's efforts to expand the range of teaching-learning materials available for the young disabled person, it is cooperating with the UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean to develop and test resource materials on the education of disabled children for their integration in the regular school system. Financial assistance from the Fund enabled the Disabled Peoples' International to convene both leadership training and income-generation training seminars. Financial assistance was also provided for strengthening the Francophone Committee of Disabled Peoples' International and for the establishment of a pan-African federation of organizations of mentally disabled persons.
100. The Fund's grants, though relatively small, have not only helped to promote awareness of disability issues and to build national capacities, but have also served to mobilize additional resources. For instance, the $556,150 in grants disbursed in 1989-1990 resulted in the mobilization of an average of five times as many additional funds.
101. In terms of the impact on development, an internal review of the activities of the Fund during the second half of the Decade indicates that its grants have been instrumental in (a) empowering disabled persons to participate as agents and beneficiaries of development; (b) promoting the development and dissemination of new knowledge and technologies to improve the well-being of disabled persons; and (c) establishing and developing networks of or concerned with disability issues.
102. The Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs has continued to cooperate closely with the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND) to initiate programmes for disabled persons in developing countries. AGFUND has been the largest single source of project-specific funds provided to the Voluntary Fund since the mid-1980s.
103. The limited exiguous resources of the Fund continue to restrict its capacity to respond to an increasing number of urgent requests for assistance, particularly from grass-roots and national organizations in developing countries. This is a cause for concern, since the Fund's resources are an important complement to other forms of assistance available from both multilateral and bilateral sources. If the Fund is to carry out its mandate, it is essential that its resource base be augmented on a sustained and predictable basis.
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104. Based on experiences during the past United Nations Decade and the outcome of the Meeting of Experts on Alternative Ways To Mark the End of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, held at Jarvenpaa, Finland, from 7 to 11 May 1990, it is imperative that the Fund be continued beyond the end of the Decade, in 1992, to provide a specific focus within the United Nations system for support to further the implementation of the World Programme of Action.
105. Should the General Assembly approve the continuation and renaming of the Voluntary Fund beyond end of the Decade, the Secretary-General will submit new terms of reference for the United Nations Fund on Disability.
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Calendar of events of alternative ways to mark the end of the Decade (period July 1991 to December 1992)
At the international level Tokyo, 2-4 July 1991
Tokyo, 2-11 July 1991
Hong Kong, August 1991
Paris, November 1991 London, 30 November 1991
Virginia, United States 1-5 December 1991
Vancouver, Canada 22-25 April 1992
Vancouver, Canada 22-27 April 1992
Vancouver, Canada April 1992
Reykjavik, June 1992
The World Federation of the Deaf General Assembly (The World Federation of the Deaf)
The XI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (The World Federation of the Deaf and the Japanese Federation of the Deaf)
Third International Abilympics (International Abilympic Federation and Rehabilitation International)
Ministerial Conference on Independent Living for Disabled Persons (The Council of Europe)
"The Global Project", a fundraising concert at Albert Hall and a declaration of recommitment to the objectives of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons to be signed by various heads of State (The Global Project)
World Congress on Technology: Information technology, computerization and electronics in the workplace for people with disabilities (General Services Administration, United States of America)
"Independence 1992": a global event of an international congress and festival, celebrating the creativity of people with disabilities. An exposition on disability issues will also be held (British Colombia Corporation with the support of 15 national and international organizations)
Third World Congress of Disabled Peoples' International
Expert Group Meeting for a Long-Term Strategy to End of the Year 2000 and Beyond (Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nation Office at Vienna)
International Professional Summit on Mental Disabilities (United World Partnership on Developmental Disabilities)
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Madrid, September 1992
Nairobi, September 1992
New York, October 1992
At the regional level Bangkok, 1992
At the national level Malaysia, 1992
Paralympics names for Persons with Mental Handicap (International Sports Federation for Persons with Mental Handicap)
The XVII World Congress of Rehabilitation International: Accelerating Efforts to Equalization of Opportunities; Strategies for the 1990's (Rehabilitation International)
"Setting National Disability Policies - An Agenda for Action", including a "High-Level Interregional Encounter of Eminent Persons in the Field of Disability", an International Conference (The United States National Council on Disability and the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs)
The Third Assembly of the World Blind Union (The World Blind Union)
Regional Intergovernmental Meeting to Mark the End of the Decade (ESCAP and the Asian-Pacific Council of Disabled Peoples' International)
A conference and sports event
Commemorative Stamps will be issued
Creativity and Sports Week
National seminar on management of national coordinating committees
National Seminar on Accessibility
National Congress of the Association of Indonesian Disabled Persons
A major event to mark the end of the United Nations Decade will be held
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Projects supported: January 1989 to December 1990
1. Botswana: Mogoditshane Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children
2. Cameroon: Schooling for disabled children
3. Congo: Acquisition of resource materials for the African Rehabilitation Institute Library, Brazzaville
4. Cote d'lvoire: Community-based rehabilitation programmes for disabled persons
5. Djibouti: Assistance to disabled persons (training phase)
6. Sudan: Strengthening the National Vocational Rehabilitation Centre a/
7. Uganda: Integrated school for disabled children, Kampala
8. United Republic of Tanzania! Training of teachers in special education, in cooperation with the Irish Institute for Mental Handicap
9. Sub regional, West Africa! Workshop for Key Medical and Technical Personnel in Prosthetics and Orthotics for the West African Region (Loma, Togo, 3-17 December 1989), in cooperation with the Ljubljana (Yugoslavia) Service for Technical Cooperation
10. Sub regional, West Africa! Assistance a la Federation ouest-africaine pour la promotion des personnes handicappers a/
11. Regional, Africa: Preparatory meeting on follow-up to the resolution adopted by the Third Francophone Summit on the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons (Dakar, 12-17 October 1989)
12. Regional, Africa: Pan African Federation of Organizations of Mentally Disabled Persons
B. Asia and the Pacific
13. India! Training programme of the Computer Communications Guidance Centre for Disabled Persons of the Institute of Science, Nagpur, Maharashtra
14. Indonesia: Training in production and sales of wooden toys by physically disabled persons of the Proyek rehabilitees Bethesda Association
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15. Pakistan; Provision of wheelchairs to disabled Afghan refugee children in Pakistan by Operation Handicap International b/
16. Pakistan: Resource and training centers for blind women (phase II) a/
17. Philippines; Pilot project of Disabled, Inc. on container farming by disabled persons in urban areas
18. Thailand: Thai Sign-Language Dictionary; revised and expanded edition (second volume) by the National Association of the "Deaf
19. Regional, Asia and Pacific: Assistance to 1989 Voice Training Programme of the Asian Federation of Laryngectomees Associations
20. Regional, Asia and Pacific: Eighth Disabled Peoples' International Asia-Pacific Leadership Training Seminar (Suva, Fiji, 16-23 March 1990)
21. Regional, Asia and Pacific: Training of esophageal speech instructors for promotion of the rehabilitation of disabled persons by the Asian Federation of Laryngectomees Associations
C. Latin America and the Caribbean
22. Chiles Microcomputer operators
23. Dominican Republics Pilot Training Programme in Prosthetics and Orthotics a/
24. Haiti: Pilot programmes in rural community approaches for the training of mentally disabled persons a/
25. Regional, Latin Americas Development of didactical materials to promote the integration of disabled children into the regular school system
26. Regional, Latin Americas Regional Seminar of Disabled Peoples' International on Organizational Strengthening for Income-Generation (Port of Spain, Trinidad, 22-29 July 1990)
27. Regional, Latin Americas Tenth Congress on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities; "Integration and Independence" (Kingston, Jamaica, 17-21 April 1990), in cooperation with the Jamaica Association for Mentally Handicapped Children
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D. western Asia
28. Jordan: Expansion of the Amman Centre for Disabled Persons a/
29. Lebanon: Al-Amal Institute for Mentally Retarded Children; Expansion of Broummana Centre a/
30. Palestinian People: Vocational training farm for mentally retarded children in Hebron district, implemented by Medical Aid for Palestinians
31. Regional, Arab States: Technical advisory services to Gulf countries for development of statistics of disabled persons a/
32. Regional, Arab States: Encouraging the formation of cooperatives of disabled persons
E. Interregional and global
33. International Seminar to Improve Information on People with Disabilities (Tunis. 30 October-1 November 1989), in cooperation with Association des parents et Amis des handicaps
34. Information Kit on Women and Disability of the Joint United Nations Information Committee/NGO Liaison Office
35. Experiencing the Deaf Way: International Festival and Conference at Gallaudet College on Language, Culture and History of Deaf People (Washington, D.C., 9-14 July 1989)
36. Development of guidelines on equalization of opportunities at the Third World Congress of Disabled Peoples' International (forthcoming)
37. Guidelines on 'development of organizations of disabled persons, Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs
38. Technical guidelines on lower-limb prostheses suitable for manufacture in developing countries, in cooperation with Appropriate Health Resources and Technology Action Group a/
39. Stimulation and monitoring of concerted action in selected target areas of disability prevention, in cooperation with Rehabilitation International a/
40. Publication of the International Newsletter for Deaf-Blind and provision of expert services in deaf-blind education to developing countries by the International Association for the Education of Deaf-Blind
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41. Training Seminar for Disabled Peoples' International Women Leaders (Vienna, 20-24 August 1990)
42. Strengthening the Francophone Committee of Disabled Peoples' International
a/ Co-financed by the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND).
b/ Co-financed by a grant from the Office of the United Nations at Vienna Ball Day Committee.