Ensuring access to assistive tools and devices critical to improving the lives of people living with disabilities—NCD Boss tells UN Conference”

NCD Ricardio Badio Dennis

The Executive Director of Liberia’s National Commission on Disabilities (NCD) Ricardia Badio Dennis has highlighted the plight of people living with disabilities in Liberia, and called for more support for the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Adopted in 2006, the CRPD seeks to ensure that persons with all types of disabilities enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms as active members of society.

Addressing the 11th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD in New York,   Madam Dennis said, access to assistive tools and devices was critical to improving the lives of people with disabilities in Liberia. “To bring everyone along, affordable, assistive tools and devices must be accessible and available to those who need them; we must also have the financial means and resources for service delivery”. She stressed.

A dispatch from Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations quotes Madam Dennis as saying “while the lack of these drivers impedes implementation, the government was committed to respecting and upholding the rights of persons with disabilities through collaborative efforts”.

She named the establishment of the National Commission on Disabilities (NCD), an autonomous agency with the mandate to ensure the general welfare and wellbeing of persons with disabilities as the Liberian Government’s first initiative towards implementing the CRPD.

Madam Dennis also highlighted the development of a social protection plan, transfer of social welfare services to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, provision of capacity enhancement in schools for the visually impaired, and the creation of a network of partners, as major strides to mainstream disability issues in Liberia.

The NCD Director also disclosed that consultations are ongoing across Liberia for the development of a five-year national action plan on disabilities, which will feed into the Government’s pro-poor agenda.

Madam Dennis said while gains were being made, much more needed to be done to address the needs of people living with disabilities as enshrined in both the United Nations CRPD  and the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Liberia was among more than 170 UN Member States attending the 11th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which convened at the UN Headquarters from 12-14 June.

This year’s session was held on the theme: Leaving no one behind through the full implementation of the CRPD”

From Vivian Gartayn Lombeh | Minister Counselor/Press and Public Affairs  |Liberia Permanent Mission to the United Nations| Tel: (212) 6871033/1034 Email: vlombeh@pmun.gov.lr

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About Cholo Brooks 7082 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.