Development and human rights for all

THE STATEMENT OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND DISABILITY AFRICA REGIONAL CONFERENCE, HELD AT THE PANAFRIC HOTEL, NAIROBI, KENYA 15TH TO 17TH SEPTEMBER, 2008

We, the 200 delegates of the Millennium Development Goals and Disability Conference from the, Central,  Eastern, Northern, Western and Southern sub regions of Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya,  at the Panafric Hotel on 15th to 17th September 2008, to examine the status of MDGs in respect to the inclusion and mainstreaming of disability; 

And further to enhance the capacity of leaders from the disability and development sectors on effective mainstreaming of disability in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in African countries;
Noting that MDGs have no specific reference to persons with disabilities and therefore their continued exclusion in the campaign processes, policies, planning, programmes and implementation;
Concerned also that disability has not been mentioned in the midway Millennium Development Goals Report;
Further acknowledging that the convention on the rights of PWDs has recently come into effect, to among other things strengthen the resolve for inclusion of people with disabilities;

We note with dismay the continued categorisation of people with disabilities as vulnerable which further marginalises us and consigns us to invisibility, we state that we wish to be recognised as actors in the development processes;  

We Resolve As Delegates That We Shall;

• Communicate the outcome of this conference to our governments to review,  prioritise and include issues of disability in their Country Statements during their high level meetings on MDGs in New York, in the September 2008 Summit
• Call on our Governments to move and support a motion during the UN General Assembly, calling for the establishment of a new UN Special Agency on Disability; to provide leadership, coordination, harmonisation and enhanced monitoring and reporting.
• Engage our Governments to ensure that People with Disabilities are protected from adverse effects from rising costs and related vulnerabilities and participate and benefit from existing social protection schemes
• Lobby Governments through the African Development Bank and related partners  to establish an African Disability Equity Fund to support economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and business of people with disabilities
• Encourage the use of professional campaigners including goodwill ambassadors in promoting disability inclusion
• Recognise the efforts of parents, friends and guardians of people with disabilities and recognise them as part of the wider disability movement
• Uphold the principle of gender equity in disability
• Promote the use of positive language in reference to people with disabilities 

We Urge The UN Through Member States;

• To establish a Specialist Agency on Disability in the league of UNICEF and  UNIFEM to provide leadership and global accountability on matters related to the disabled people
• To prioritise include and partner with the disability movement in its entire millennium campaign initiatives and develop the strategies for doing so in the September summit 

We Urge The AU And Related Bodies To;

• Set up a Disability Desk within all African regional bodies to monitor the implementation of both the convention and human rights violation of people with disabilities within the respective regions.
• Mainstream  disability into their programmes and performance management systems
• Establish peer review mechanism and performance management system for disability in Africa
• Ensure political and social economic representation of people with disabilities in NEPAD and develop terms of reference for their participation.
• Work with DPOs to  urgently review the structure and mandate of the African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI) 
• Extend the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities for another ten years by means of a proclamation by the meeting of the African Heads of State planned for January 2009
• Facilitate self- representation of PWDs in all commissions, Pan Africa Parliament and other structures

We Call On The Secretariat Of African Decade Of Persons With Disability to; 

• Establish a programme to develop human resource capacity for policy analysis to act as a watch dog in monitoring disability inclusion
• Allocate responsibilities, roles and duties to the regional federations and other partners in order to ensure  effective, well – monitored follow up and implementation strategies 

We urge all Government to;

• Ratify, domesticate and implement the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
• Work with DPOs in nominating the members of the panel of experts in convention  on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
• Recognise DPOs as agents of change and therefore as partners in development planning and programmes
• Include people with disabilities and disability into their poverty reduction and development programmes
• Put into place affirmative action to enhance participation in political social and economic sectors
• Include disability data collection within the general national data collection systems recognising diversity in disability
• Use data to inform planning and service delivery and monitoring and evaluation
• Highlight and include disability in the existing MDG indicators in partnership with the disability movement.

We Call On Development Partners To; 

• Prioritise disability as a tool for planning and analysis for development assistance and international cooperation in all their international cooperation and assistance (aid, debt relieve and trade)
• Include and consult people with disabilities and their respective organisations in planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting
• Include disability as a requirement / condition for funding development programmes 

We Resolve That As Disabled Peoples Organisations We Shall;

• Advocate  to ensure that disability issues are mainstreamed in all  government, UN agencies and development partners policies, plans and programmes  particularly those related to MDGs
• Endeavour to understand the structures of various government, UN agencies and development partners with a view to engaging with them more effectively for full inclusion of people with disabilities
• Advocate  development partners to include disability as a requirement / condition for funding development programmes 
• Engage and influence the social development process
• Participate in the Social Protection processes to ensure people with disabilities are included
• Advocate and lobby to be included in national poverty reduction strategies and other national development plans and initiatives
• Explore avenues of partnership with private  sector in their economic empowerment programes
• Utilize our individual and collective capacity to cause the implementation of programmes related to the MDGs for the benefit of people with disabilities 
• Build our own capacity to engage with our government on their commitments and agreement at national and international levels
• Ensure that whatever is agreed at regional or national workshops cascades downward to people with disabilities at the grassroots and rural areas
• Familiarise ourselves with the disability policies of different development agencies and ensure that they benefit us
• Strengthen our unity and common voice in planning, implementation and monitoring processes whilst at the same time recognising diversity  in disability
• Restructure and reform our internal governance structures to adopt modern management and good governance systems and increase transparency and accountability to our members
• Nurture and mentor youth with disabilities into leadership succession plans and support them towards social economic empowerment
• Make a paradigm shift from the charity model to the human rights and social development model
• Strategically engage with media for both awareness and advocacy and built our capacity to engage with media
• Sensitise and capacitate the media to various disability needs and to urge them to be inclusive in their presentation and reporting 
• Link with African Universities to promote evidence based disability research and to promote disability inclusive academic programmes
• Review through our Governments the Accra Development Plan of Action and cause its implementation for the benefit of PWDs in Africa 
These resolutions are the outcomes of the conference, formulated and spoken by the delegates at this esteemed Millennium Development Goals and Disability Conference.