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11 DECEMBER 2007
PHILIPPINES LEADS WAY ON DISABILITY ISSUE IN UN
NEW YORK—The Philippines continues to lead the way on disability issues in the United Nations after Filipino diplomats successfully negotiated a resolution that seeks to make the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) attuned to the needs of persons with disabilities.
In its report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said it was able to secure the adoption of its resolution: "Implementation of the World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons: Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities" in the Third Committee of the 62 nd General Assembly.
The Philippine Mission said 103 Member-States co-sponsored the resolution.
Ambassador Hilario G. Davide Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the Philippine-led initiative aims to mainstream the perspective of persons with disabilities with the MDGs—a set of eight specific, measurable, time-bound targets which bind countries to exert more efforts to address the problems of inadequate incomes, widespread hunger, gender inequality, environmental deterioration and lack of education, healthcare and clean water.
"The adoption of the resolution underscores the importance the Philippines places on the issue of disability at the United Nations," Ambassador Davide said. "It is worth noting that we have also recently became a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with Secretary Romulo signing on behalf of the Philippines."
He said the resolution hopes to benefit the more than 650 million people with disabilities worldwide who comprise 10 percent of the global population.
"The Philippines believes that given such a large number they should be included in the MDGs," Ambassador Davide said. "The Philippine initiative ensures that persons with disabilities become part of the global effort to achieve the MDGs."
Ambassador Davide also cited the World Program of Action crafted by the UN General Assembly in 1983 that recognizes the importance of action within the context of economic and social development and at the same time emphasizes the active role of persons with disabilities in the development process.
"The Philippine resolution stressed that the goals and strategies of the World Program of Action will help countries achieve the MDGs," Ambassador Davide said. ###
ELMER G. CATO Second Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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