Vanuatu celebrated a major achievement yesterday with the launch of its National Database System Registry for persons with disabilities.

This system, a first in the Pacific region, marks a significant step towards ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all citizens.

Having ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) in 2008, Vanuatu demonstrates its commitment to inclusivity and non-discrimination.

The database system reflects this dedication by providing a centralised platform to address the diverse needs of persons with disabilities.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Justice and Community Services, First Political Advisor, Russell Nari noted that with 5% of Vanuatu’s population living with disabilities, the importance of this initiative cannot be overstated.

Through collaboration with various stakeholders, including government agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and community organisations, Vanuatu aims to enhance service delivery and support for persons with disabilities.

The Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MoJCS) spearheads the implementation of this initiative, establishing Disability Desk offices at both national and provincial levels.

These offices, equipped with dedicated officers, will utilise the database system to streamline service provision and ensure timely assistance to those in need.

“The data system will, but, not limited to providing medical assistance but will also assist in the verification process during humanitarian assistance during disaster preparedness, responses, and recoveries in the event of natural disasters,” he said.

Equally important, the database system will assist the government in its development policies and decisions on infrastructures across the nation.

“It will also be used as the official national data reference in its national reports, response and recovery programs during disasters,” the First PA highlighted.

Mr. Nari urged all stakeholders to make optimal use of this system and ensure the accuracy of data inputs, saying, “Together, we can uphold the principles of equality and inclusion, leaving no one behind”.

He extended heartfelt thanks to the development partners for their support in realising this initiative, particularly the French Government through the South Pacific Community (SPC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

Nari called on everyone to continue to work together towards a future where disability is not a barrier to participation and where every individual is valued and supported.