United Nations

A/RES/43/98


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

8 December 1988

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                        A/RES/43/98
                                                        75th plenary meeting
                                                        8 December 1988
 
    Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled
            Persons and United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons
 
     The General Assembly,
 
     Recalling all its relevant resolutions, including resolution 37/52 of
3 December 1982, by which it adopted the World Programme of Action concerning
Disabled Persons, and resolution 37/53 of 3 December 1982, in which it,
inter alia, proclaimed the period 1983-1992 the United Nations Decade of
Disabled Persons,
 
     Recalling its resolution 42/58 of 30 November 1987 and reaffirming all of
its relevant provisions,
 
     Noting with appreciation that an interregional meeting of representatives
of national committees on disability issues will be held early in 1989 to
exchange views and information on enhancing the capabilities of such
committees,
 
     Taking note of Economic and Social Council resolution 1988/45 of
27 May 1988, in which the Council, inter alia, reiterated the need to launch a
special global awareness and fund-raising campaign to give added momentum to
the Decade, and in this regard, welcomed the appointment by the
Secretary-General of the Special Representative for the Promotion of the
United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons,
 
     Noting the important work currently being undertaken by the
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities on
human rights and disability, which could serve as a useful basis for the
continued efforts to ensure for disabled persons the enjoyment of human rights
and fundamental freedoms,
 
     Bearing in mind that the mid-decade review to evaluate the implementation
of the World Programme of Action was conducted so that a list of priorities
could be established for planning global activities and programmes during the
remainder of the Decade and beyond,
 
     Taking into account the concrete measures already carried out by the
Governments of Member States, the bodies and organizations of the United
Nations system and non-governmental organizations to implement the objectives
of the World Programme of Action within the framework of the Decade, and
recognizing that much more should be done to improve the living conditions of
disabled persons,
 
     Mindful that Member States bear the ultimate responsibility for the
implementation of the World Programme of Action,
 
     Recognizing the pivotal role of the United Nations in promoting the
exchange of information, experience and expertise and closer regional and
interregional co-operation towards more effective strategies and policies to
advance the status and welfare of disabled persons,
 
     Stressing that the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs
of the Secretariat is the focal point within the United Nations for the
implementation and monitoring of the World Programme of Action,
 
     Noting with appreciation the steps taken by the United Nations system and
by the non-governmental organizations concerned to monitor the implementation
of the World Programme of Action,
 
     Concerned that, at the mid-point of the Decade, the resource base of the
Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons is
significantly reduced from that prevailing during the first half of the
Decade, and that unless this trend is reversed and the resource capacities of
the Voluntary Fund are strengthened, many priority requests will not be met
and the implementation of the World Programme of Action will be seriously
affected,
 
     Mindful that, since developing countries are experiencing difficulties in
mobilizing resources, international co-operation should be encouraged to
assist in national efforts to implement the World Programme of Action and to
achieve the objectives of the Decade,
 
     Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the
implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons
and the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons,
 
     1.   Reaffirms the validity of the World Programme of Action concerning
Disabled Persons;
 
     2.   Stresses that, for the second half of the United Nations Decade of
Disabled Persons, special emphasis should be placed on the equalization of
opportunities for disabled persons;
 
     3.   Urges Member States, intergovernmental organizations and
non-governmental organizations concerned to translate into action at all
levels, as appropriate, the priorities for global activities and programmes
during the second half of the Decade, such as those set forth in the annex to
the present resolution;
 
     4.   Renews its invitation to all States to give high priority to
projects concerning the prevention of disabilities, rehabilitation and the
equalization of opportunities for disabled persons within the framework of
bilateral assistance, as well as financial support to strengthen organizations
of disabled persons;
 
     5.   Invites Governments to participate actively in the international
co-operation with a view to improving the living conditions of disabled
persons by encouraging professional experts, in particular disabled persons,
in various aspects of rehabilitation and the equalization of opportunity,
including those who are in retirement and willing to work with disabled
persons; 
 
     6.   Requests the Secretary-General to encourage all organs and bodies of
the United Nations system, including regional commissions, international
organizations and the specialized agencies, to take into account in their
programmes and operational activities the specific needs of disabled persons;
 
     7.   Requests the Secretary-General to take, inter alia, the following
measures at the United Nations level:
 
     (a)  To disseminate widely the text of the World Programme of Action and
all manuals and special publications prepared by the United Nations for the
International Year of Disabled Persons, in 1981, and the Decade;
 
     (b)  To examine possible ways in which United Nations meetings,
information materials and documents can be made more accessible to disabled
persons and to  determine the financial implications thereof;
 
     (c)  To assist Member States in establishing and strengthening national
committees on disability issues and similar co-ordinating bodies;
 
     (d)  To promote and support the establishment of strong national
organizations of disabled persons;
 
     8.   Requests the Secretary-General to conduct a feasibility study on the
substantive, financial and administrative implications of alternative ways to
mark the end of the Decade in 1992, which would include a review of the global
progress achieved and obstacles encountered during the Decade and which would
provide a mechanism for preparing the actions needed until the year 2000 and
beyond, and to submit the study to the General Assembly at its forty-fifth
session; 
 
     9.   Requests the Secretary-General to strengthen the regional
commissions to enable them to promote technical co-operation activities and
the sharing of national resources for personnel training, the exchange of
information, policy and programme development and research and the
participation of disabled persons;
 
     10.  Endorses the measures proposed by the Secretary-General in his
report to strengthen the programmes and activities of the agencies and bodies
of the United Nations system and to improve the co-ordination of inter-agency
efforts on behalf of disabled persons;
 
     11.  Invites the Secretary-General and Member States to involve disabled
persons to a greater extent in United Nations programmes and activities,
inter alia, through the provision of employment opportunities;
 
     12.  Requests the Secretary-General to consider establishing, within
existing resources, alternative structures to ensure that the issue of
disability is accorded high visibility and to develop the Disabled Persons
Unit of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs as a
specialized facilitating agent engaging the available resources of the United
Nations system and relevant networks outside the United Nations;
 
     13.  Invites the Centre to expand its close collaboration with
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations active in the field of
disability, in particular organizations of disabled persons, and to consult
with them on a regular and systematic basis on matters relating to the
implementation of the World Programme of Action;
 
     14.  Calls upon Member States, national committees, the United Nations
system and non-governmental organizations to assist in a global information
and fund-raising campaign to publicize the Decade through all appropriate
means;
 
     15.  Recognizes the important role of non-governmental organizations,
especially those representing disabled persons, in the effective
implementation of the World Programme of Action, in raising international
awareness of the concerns of disabled persons and in monitoring and evaluating
progress achieved during the Decade;
 
     16.  Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Commission for Social
Development at its thirty-first session of the progress of work of the Special
Representative for the Promotion of the Decade of Disabled Persons;
 
     17.  Requests the Secretary-General to continue to administer donated
funds, using them for projects under the present structure of the Voluntary
Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, and to continue to
make new provisions in order to offer a selection of projects to donor
countries that may be willing to finance a particular programme under the
"Special Purpose Contributions";
 
     18.  Reaffirms that the resources of the Voluntary Fund should be used to
support catalytic and innovative activities in order to implement further the
objectives of the World Programme of Action within the framework of the
Decade, with priority given, as appropriate, to programmes and projects of the
least developed countries;
 
     19.  Invites Governments and non-governmental organizations to continue
their contributions to the Voluntary Fund and calls upon Governments and
non-governmental organizations that have not yet done so to consider
contributing to the Voluntary Fund so as to enable it to respond effectively
to the growing demand for assistance;
 
     20.  Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at
its forty-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution;
 
     21.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its forty-fourth
session the item entitled "Implementation of the World Programme of Action
concerning Disabled Persons and United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons".
 
                                    ANNEX
      Priorities for global activities and programmes during the second
            half of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons
 
     1.   Member States, which have the main responsibility for the
implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons,
are urged:
 
     (a)  To develop and implement national plans of action, using a
multisectoral, interdisciplinary approach in consultation with organizations
of disabled persons;
 
     (b)  To promote the development and functioning of organizations of
disabled persons by providing technical and financial support;
 
     (c)  To establish and/or strengthen national committees or similar
co-ordinating bodies;
 
     (d)  To launch a public information and education campaign in which
disabled persons are portrayed as equal members of society;
 
     (e)  To support cultural activities to promote awareness of the United
Nations Decade of Disabled Persons by giving disabled persons the opportunity
to participate in musical, artistic and drama activities;
 
     (f)  To review, update and, where necessary, improve national legislation
to ensure general conformity with international standards;
 
     (g)  To consider incorporating in their legislation and planning the
rights of the disabled, including those of persons who are:
 
     (i)  Hearing-impaired, including the right to have sign language
          interpretation;
 
    (ii)  Visually impaired, including access to Braille material, audio aids
          and large print information;
 
   (iii)  Mentally impaired, including access to easy reading materials;
 
    (iv)  Speech-impaired, including access to new technologies;
 
     (h)  To formulate and implement disability-related projects for inclusion
in technical co-operation programmes financed by the United Nations
Development Programme through the country programmes funded by the indicative
planning figures;
 
     (i)  To review and extend services and benefits available to disabled
persons and their families, aimed at ensuring basic level income maintenance
and promoting self-directed personal assistance, housing, transport and other
facilities needed for independent living;
 
     (j)  To train personnel, including disabled persons, to build a national
capability to deal with disability;
 
     (k)  To establish machinery for appropriate data collection on
disabilities, to be used in national planning;
 
     (l)  To use indigenous raw materials, scientific expertise and production
facilities for the manufacture and local repair of appropriate technical aids
and appliances needed by disabled persons;
 
     (m)  To accede to and implement the provisions of the Nairobi Protocol to
the Florence Agreement concerning the duty-free international movement of
equipment and material needed to assist the daily living of disabled persons;
 
     (n)  To ratify, if they have not yet done so the Convention concerning
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) adopted in 1983 by
the International Labour Conference;
 
     (o)  To support research into the special needs of disabled persons and
into programmes to benefit them and their families;
 
     (p)  To develop services and facilities to promote the rehabilitation and
equalization of opportunities of disabled women, elderly disabled persons,
mentally ill and other mentally impaired persons, multiple disabled persons,
disabled refugees and disabled migrants.
 
     2.   Intergovernmental organizations are urged to give priority to issues
concerning disabled persons and to take initiatives to implement the World
Programme of Action.
 
     3.   Non-governmental organizations, which play an important role in the
implementation of the World Programme of Action, are urged during the
remainder of the Decade:
 
     (a)  To establish regular and systematic contacts with the United Nations
system and other non-governmental organizations in collecting and
disseminating information and research findings, planning activities and
sharing innovative experiences and in maximizing the use of available
resources;
 
     (b)  To mobilize their networks and resources to publicize the aims and
objectives of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons;
 
     (c)  To provide regular information on their activities and meetings to
the Disabled Persons Unit of the Centre for Social Development and
Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat and actively to support its
activities.