HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 592: 30 November 2011

Reporting to the UN on persons with disabilities
The Cook Islands government has endorsed its report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to be presented to the United Nations as part of its obligation since its ratification on 8 May 2009.
The Convention which safeguards the world’s 650 million of persons with disabilities from discrimination was passed by the United Nations General Assembly on 6 December 2006 and came into effect on 3 May 2008.
The Convention is a human rights based treaty that enshrines the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in economic, political, social and cultural life. Like other UN conventions such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and CEDAW, it is legally binding in terms of compliance and its implementation will be monitored and evaluated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Cook Islands.
The Cook Islands acceded the Convention in 2009 and under its ratification obligations to the United Nations; it is reporting on the progress of implementation at the national level.
This is the first of its kind in the Pacific region. “We are pleased that we are able to complete this report and acknowledge the assistance of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in the drafting of the report” said Bredina Drollet, Secretary for Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Cook Islands.
Persons with disabilities in the Cook Islands are among the most disadvantaged in their communities as they lack access to a wide range of basic services. They face social, attitudinal and physical barriers every day of their lives in the forms of direct and indirect discrimination. This Convention will, therefore, be of considerable value and relevance.
“Government realizes the importance of the rights of persons with disabilities as they are doing for women and children in Cook Islands. The obligation to implement the Convention is an ongoing process and look forward to more commitment from government on issues relating to persons with a disability” said Nooroa Numanga, Director for Disability Issues in the Cook Islands.
Following the Convention reporting to the United Nations, it is envisaged that the Cook Islands will place an increased emphasis to continue to:
• Improve mainstreaming disability issues as an integral part of relevant national priorities of sustainable development with budgetary allocations to implement it’s strategies;
• Review and harmonise domestic legislations and other related national documents to conform with the Convention;
• Strengthen services for persons with disabilities.
For more information, please contact Ms Nooroa Numanga, phone 29370 and email nono@intaff.gov.ck -Internal Affairs Media Release

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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