Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government and the House of Representatives` Commission VIII on Wednesday discussed a plan to ratify the International Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.

"Today`s session with lawmakers reflects the commitment of every element in the country to improve our human rights situation, especially for the disabled," said Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa in his opening remarks at the Wednesday meeting.

The minister expressed hope that the ratification of the Convention for the Disabled would bring about a new paradigm for the role of people with disabilities in the country. He said after ratification of the convention, people with disabilities in Indonesia would enjoy the same rights as the rest of Indonesian citizens and better welfare.

Meanwhile, a member of the House`s Commission VIII, Zulkarnain Jabar, expressed his party`s support for the plan to ratify the Convention for People With Disabilities.

He said the country needed to support he right of tpeople with disabilities to have a better life. He even suggested that the government establish a special bank that would provide loans to the disabled to start their own businesses.

"There must also be punishment for those who discriminate against the disabled," said the lawmaker from the Golkar Party.

First Vice President of the Indonesian Union of the Blind (Pertuni) Otje Soedioto who also attended the Wednesday meeting stated disabled people in Indonesia want equality and better accessibility in all sectors of life namely education and job opportunities.

"We want to be given better and more chances to contribute to the development of the country," he said.

In 2007, Indonesia signed the International Convention on the Rights for People With Disabilities. However it had yet to be ratified by the House of Representatives.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2011