Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (1993-2002) Culminating conference.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Article excerpt

SOME 100 representatives of the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) sector, the government, and non-government organizations are currently holding a meeting at the Holiday Inn Manila assessing major achievements in the field of PWD and disability. This three-day conference serves as a culminating activity of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (1993-2002).

Efforts to promote the welfare of persons with disabilities and keep them as productive members of society are rooted in the United Nations' founding principles promoting human rights, fundamental freedoms, and equality of all human beings. Through the years, governments and regional organizations have joined forces, thereby making PWD programs global.

At the initiative of the UN General Assembly in 1976, 1981 was declared as the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP) and called for concrete plans of action by governments emphasizing measures promoting equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation, and prevention of disabilities. The UN General Assembly proclaimed 1983-1992 as the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons and December 3 as the International Day of Disabled Persons. This UN declaration defined the fundamental freedoms and basic rights of persons with disabilities and made provisions for equal opportunities for education and employment as means to encourage them to participate in all productive human endeavors. …