Pacific Disability Forum meets on Guam

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The forum membership includes representatives from Palau, FSM, New Zealand, Fiji, Guam, and other Pacific nations and territories whose main goal is to uplift the lives of people with disabilities.

The Pacific Disability Forum convened on Guam to conduct the “North Pacific CRPD-SDGs Training” — a week-long training attended by representatives from disabled people’s organizations (DPO) from different countries and territories in the region.

The forum trained participants to use two key international agreements — the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and also  the UN Sustainable Development Goals — in service and program delivery, as well as in the ongoing advocay for inclusivity and participation of persons with disabilities.

Most Pacific countries have ratified the two agreements. As of 2018, 11 Pacific Islands Countries have ratified the CRPD (Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of
Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu)

PNC spoke with Setareki “Seta” Macanawai, Forum CEO, about the continuing struggle of the community all over the region.

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“People with disabilities, in the context of the event this week — which is on Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities —traditionally are easily left behind, are usually marginalized,” Macanawai said.

The challenge to live like anybody else and having to overcome these barriers — whether they be attitudinal, environmental, or pbysical. These barriers that are often need to be addressed so people with disabilities can be part of society,” Macanawai emphasized.

The training attendees include DPO representatives from Palau, FSM, Fiji, Guam, and other Pacific nations and territories whose main goal is to uplift the lives of people with disabilities.

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