Pacific Forum Disability Ministers Meeting underway In FSM

Marianas Variety:

Monday, 13 October 2014

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — The Third Pacific Forum Disability Ministers meeting is ongoing here in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia with representatives from Australia, the Cook Islands, FSM, New Zealand, Niue, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.

Representatives from Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, as well as the Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat are joining the meeting via the internet from Cairns, Australia. Bad weather conditions have prevented these Ministers and officials from making their connecting flights out of Cairns to the FSM.

FSM President Manny Mori opened the meeting with welcoming remarks and thanked the Forum and meeting organizers for choosing the FSM as the host for the third meeting of the important conference.

“Two years ago, I added my signature to the many signatures of World Leaders supporting the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities at the United Nations in New York. Our Congress (FSM Congress) has yet to pass the necessary protocol to accede to the Convention; once ratified, their rights as members of the FSM will be respected and existing public facilities must be re-fitted and new ones must include special designs for the Disabled to easily access all public facilities.

He urged the Ministers and participants at the meeting, including the others following through Skype from Cairns, to “chart a pathway forward” as the Pacific countries seek real ways of becoming more inclusive in safeguarding opportunities for all the people as a human rights obligation.

Read story: Marianas Variety

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