ASEAN committed to giving wider access to disabled people

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Wardana said ASEAN was committed to providing wider access to people with disabilities and recognizing their potential to contribute to the implementation of all action lines in the ASEAN Community blueprint for 2015.

Speaking at the "Regional Dialogue on Access to Elections for Persons with Disabilities" in Jakarta on Wednesday, Wardana said the blueprint included the socio-cultural sectors of the ASEAN community of the role and participation of the persons with disabilities as outlined in the Bali Declaration in 2011.

"We have to provide a strong basis for our collaboration among people and governments to repeal improper laws on the disabled and issue inclusive regulations for all," Wardana said.

He said according to the Bali Declaration 2011, there were three vital elements that should be emphasized , the first being y the proclamation of the ASEAN decade of persons with disabilities in the period 2011-2020 indicating the need for a systemic agenda and program to integrate disabled people issues into the building of the ASEAN Community.

The second was mainstreaming the disabled people perspective in the development and implementation of ASEAN policies and programs across the economic, political security and socio-cultural pillars of the ASEAN Community.

Wardana said this was a clear statement on the importance of the inclusion of the disabled people perspective in all ASEAN policies and programs as disabled people issues are cross-cutting ones that involve all aspects of the work of ASEAN.

"The third is the encouragement of the participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects, including in political activities by providing them with equal political rights in the election of leaders and parliamentarians at local and national levels," he said.

The "Regional Dialogue on Access to Elections for Persons with Disabilities" with the theme of enhancing the role and participation of persons with disabilities and promoting election access for all is being held by the Disability Rights for the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) on February 1-2 and partcipated in by representatives of disabled people organizations in ASEAN, Japan, South Korea, and the US. (*)

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