vanuatu-advances-efforts-to-promote-greater-inclusion- for-people-with-disabilities

The National Disability Committee met at Tamanu on the Beach Resort last week.

The five days meeting, organised by the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MoJCS) through the Disability Desk, aimed to explain the roles and responsibilities of its members, strengthen coordination processes, and pave the way for the effective implementation of disability-inclusive policies and initiatives.

This important meeting happens twice a year and can be called at short notice in case of a disaster or during recovery. This year, it’s being sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of the Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project (VEEP) and the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP).

The meeting included various stakeholders such as the Vanuatu Electoral Office (VEO), VSP, Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association (VDPA), and Vanuatu Society for People with Disability (VSPD). The key agenda items included reviewing the Terms of Reference (TOR) for NDC and Provincial Disability Committees (PDCs), outlining tasks for each member institution, and discussing the methodology and logistics for enacting legislation in alignment with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Justice Minister John Amos emphasised Vanuatu’s commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The meeting aimed to develop a comprehensive work plan spanning from 2024 to 2027, allocate budgets, and clarify the vital role played by the NDC in driving inclusive development.

Discussions centered on the implementation of the Education Inclusive Policy, social protection measures for persons with disabilities, and government support for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as VDPA and VSPD.

Ms Ginette Morris, Disability Desk Coordinator, said the NDC meeting was a decisive platform for raising collaboration, sharing best practices, and working towards a more inclusive future.

The participation of esteemed members from various governmental and non-governmental entities reflect Vanuatu’s holistic approach to disability inclusion.

Among the participating institutions are the Ministries of Justice, Education, Internal Affairs, and Foreign Affairs.