Experts request ECOWAS support to expedite ratification of AU Protocol on Persons with Disabilities.

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Une Vue Du Presidum
Une Vue Du Presidum

The regional coordination and training meeting of regional experts, focal points for the inclusion of people with disabilities in West Africa ended this Wednesday, October 12, 2022 in Accra, Ghana.

Among the recommendations resulting from this meeting, the participants called on the ECOWAS Commission to provide support to Member States with the aim of accelerating the signing and ratification of the African Union Protocol on Persons with Disabilities.

Experts from Member States also requested ECOWAS to support the preparation of initial and periodic reports of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), in line with the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan. on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in West Africa. The Accra meeting further recommended that ECOWAS should mobilize resources to assist Member States in implementing programs for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

To Member States of the West African Regional Organization, the meeting calls on governments to develop tools for the collection and dissemination of disaggregated data on disability to facilitate policy formulation and national planning. The participants also invite them to collaborate with development partners, including the private sector, in order to mobilize technical and financial assistance for programs for the integration of persons with disabilities. Finally, to also allow Persons with Disabilities to lead Agencies or National Structures in charge of Disability, as well as to be at the head of delegations during meetings relating to the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities as stipulated in the principle “Nothing Sure Us, Without Us”.

In his closing speech of the meeting, Ambassador Baba Gana Wakil, Resident Representative of ECOWAS in Ghana underlined that many important issues that must be quickly addressed by all stakeholders were highlighted. These include the need to continue to build the capacity of disability inclusion experts, to advocate with decision makers, at national and regional level, for increased budgetary allocation for the implementation of disability inclusive programs disabilities.

Ambassador Baba Gana Wakil congratulated the participants for their effective contributions and their active participation in the work, and expressed his thanks to the African Union, the United Nations Regional Office in charge of Human Rights, and the expert, Danlami Basharu , for their contribution to the success of this work.

It should be noted that other speeches were read during this closing ceremony, namely (i) that of Mrs. Paula Saad , Director General of Social Inclusion of Guinea Bissau, Representative HE General Umaro Sissoko Embalo , Current President of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, (ii) that of the expert from the African Union, Lephoko Kasamang , representing Ambassador Cessouma Minata Samaté , Commissioner of the African Union ( AU ) for Health , Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development , (iii) that of Maître Esther Akua GYAMFI, Executive Secretary of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities of Ghana.

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