NATIONAL DISABILITY FRAMEWORK CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCEOct 18, 2018
The Government of Botswana, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as well as University of Botswana convened a three-day National Disability Framework Consultative Conference recently which brought together people with disabilities and disabled persons organisations from around Botswana.
When officially opening the conference, Honourable Mr. Nonofo Molefhi the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, said that the Conference comes at an appropriate time when there is ongoing dialogue within Government regarding Botswana’s accession to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the development of a National Disability Strategy and Disability Legislation.
“Botswana has a long-standing commitment to uphold and safeguard the rights of people with disabilities as prescribed in the principles of the UNCRPD. This treaty reflects and affirms the protection of People with Disabilities which I can attest that they already exist under Botswana’s domestic laws” he said.
Speaking at the conference Mr. Thuso Ramodimoosi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration highlighted that the overarching objective is to develop a National Disability Framework, which encompasses: the Revision of the Disability Policy; the development of a Disability Strategy and the Enactment of a Disability Legislation.
He further emphasised that it also aims at increasing awareness regarding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the African Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
UNDP is supporting the inclusive development of the National Disability Framework which will help to domesticate the Convention or bring the rights in the Convention home to the people of Botswana. The National Disability Framework consists of a National Disability Policy, National Disability Strategy and National Disability Law. In addition to the Convention, Botswana has signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 globally accepted development goals, all of which apply to people with disability.
Botswana is taking a leading role in reporting on its progress towards achieving the SDGs and is ensuring that the SDGs are part and parcel of the national development process.
Within the three days private sectors, civil societies as well as other stakeholders had an interactive discussions and recommendations on how the UNCRPD can recognize the rights of people with disabilities. The key issues were also considered during the development of the National Disability Framework including the process for future consultations.
This National Consultative Conference on the National Disability Framework is proudly supported by UNDP as a positive step towards the inclusion of people with disabilities in the national development and planning process, and a positive step towards supporting the accession by Botswana of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the realization of those rights in the Botswana context.