H.E. YUSRA KHAN
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 5TH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE STATES PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
NEW YORK, 12 SEPTEMBER 2012
Allow me, first of all, to congratulate you on your election as President of this conference. It is indeed an important and timely conference for Indonesia as this is the first time for us to participate as a full fledge state party to the CRPD.
With the shining example of the recent 2012 Paralympics still in mind, Indonesia is pleased to join this discussion to determine how to empower people with disabilities so that they can live full lives and contribute to the improvement of their societies.
Every year since it entered into force in 2008, States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have met to consider its implementation. The holding of an annual session on implementation is a clear indication of the serious intent to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy their inalienable human rights.
The fifth session this year focuses on women and children. This is a well placed emphasis on the need to serve those who are especially vulnerable to discrimination and denial of their rights either because of their gender or because of their age. Those two factors, gender and age, are tied to powerlessness.
Of the one billion people worldwide who live with a disability, women and children are very often the most marginalized members of their societies. They suffer various forms of exclusion and are at high risk for neglect and physical abuse. These women and children often lack access to essential social services to make their lives better.
Recognizing the need for urgent action to address their situation, Indonesia has moved quickly to become a state party by ratifying the CRPD in November 2011. But even before ratifying the Convention which it played an active part in drafting, Indonesia had taken important steps nationally towards improving rights for disabled persons.
Before 2011, Indonesia laid the foundation for decisive action by drafting legislation to promote and protect the rights of disabled persons. Strengthening the national legal framework involved harmonizing various existing laws that would have a positive impact on the lives of disabled persons. The aim has been to create an enabling environment for the disabled.
Along with legislative changes, policies and programmes were adopted that made possible the launch of the National Disability Action Plan for 2004-2013. Indonesia has also been very supportive of non-governmental organizations that assist persons with disabilities. These organizations have benefited from government support through the provision of funds and technical assistance.
The Government of Indonesia has readily supported these organizations because it recognizes that the disabled have hopes and dreams too and should therefore be treated with dignity. It is also well aware of the link between disability, poverty and social liability. Because of discrimination and stereotyping, the lives of the disabled are often restricted to dependence. And in this regard, the government is determined to break that link.
Focusing on the needs of women and children, the Government of Indonesia has been striving to provide them with greater access to institutions and social services that will help to improve their lives in significant and concrete ways.
With technical support from the ILO, the Government has been dismantling barriers that have in the past denied disabled women access to education, skills training and employment. In addition, Indonesia has been collaborating with a number of countries to provide skills training through the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation (Bina Daksa).
To facilitate access to education, over 1,000 junior secondary schools have been constructed with wheelchair accessible ramps and toilets. Most of these schools have a disability-inclusive education policy. At the tertiary level, where the enrollment of students with disabilities has been increasing, attention is being paid to the removal of architectural barriers and the provision of adaptive equipment for students. Along with opportunities for employment and education, the disabled now enjoy better access to transportation as well as information and communication technology.
At the regional level, Indonesia has been implementing the guidelines contained in the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action and the Biwako Plus Five towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific.
Indonesia has also been acting on the Bali Declaration on the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community which emerged out of the 19th ASEAN Summit held in Bali in 2011. That summit proclaimed 2011-2020 as the ASEAN Decade for Person with Disabilities.
Even with this progress, a great deal remains to be done. Attitudes have to be changed, even within families, so that people do not equate disability with inability. More work needs to be done to provide the disabled with even greater access to essential services and institutions. And funding for programmes to benefit the disabled must be increased.
Be assured, however, that Indonesia is acting on these matters.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org