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Community groups support UN disability treaty

Community groups support UN disability treaty

The development of the first ever United Nations convention to protect the rights of disabled people is being applauded by several New Zealand community and voluntary sector groups.

Although yet to be ratified, this landmark treaty marks a significant change in the treatment and protection of disabled people and the New Zealand Government is being encouraged to ratify the convention.

“Under the convention, disabled persons will be secured the same rights as able-bodied people. This development is a major breakthrough on the freedoms and rights of disabled people. The convention recognises the value of disabled people and sends a positive message to the world, which is long overdue,” says Jo Lake, national executive officer of Presbyterian Support New Zealand.

New Zealand representatives played a key part in the development of the convention and the community and voluntary sector is pleased that their efforts and talents have been recognised on the world stage.

“We congratulate the effort of Kiwis involved in leading these discussions, including chairman of the ad-hoc committee, ambassador Don MacKay, and Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) president Mike Gourley and CEO Gary Wilson,” says Marion Wellington, national vice president of DPA.

Ratification of the treaty will be an important development in the quality of life for the 650 million plus disabled people that live in signatory countries.

“It is important to value the significant contributions that disabled people make to society. We are pleased the Government is supportive of the convention and encourage them to sign-up to the treaty when the time comes,” says Kevin Haunui, general manager of the Funding Information Service.

Representatives from the Disabled Persons Assembly, ANGOA, Presbyterian Support New Zealand, ESOL Home Tutors, the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations, Philanthropy New Zealand, Funding Information Service and Volunteering New Zealand all lend their support to the convention.


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