BUJUMBURA December 6th (ABP) – On the occasion of the International Day of Disabled People, the Ministry of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender, in collaboration with the Burundi Disabled Persons Union (UPHB)and the coordination of the United Nations system in Burundi organized a round table for technical and financial partners, senior government officials, representatives of UN organizations working in Burundi on the inclusion of disabled people in their programs.
In his opening speech, the permanent secretary at the ministry having human rights in his attributions, Mr. Félix Ngendabanyikwa recalled that in order to improve the rights of people living with disabilities who have long been discriminated against, the government of Burundi ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People Living with Disabilities (CRPD) dated March 26, 2014 followed by the promulgation of a national law dated January 10, 2018 with a national policy and an action plan for its implementation in conjunction with the convention.
According to Mr. Ngendabanyikwa, the SDGs by 2030 to which the country has subscribed, advocate the principle of “leaving no one behind” by specifying the person living with a disability as a target that has been much forgotten in development processes. He also added that the United Nations strategy for the inclusion of a person living with a disability refers to the effective participation of people living with disabilities, in all their diversity, to the promotion and integration of their rights in the work of the organization, the implementation of programs dedicated to disability and the taking into account of points of view relating to it in accordance with the convention on the rights of people living with disabilities. He noted that this is a way to ensure that the concerns and experiences of these people become an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs in all their areas. political, economic and social aspects, so that they can benefit as much as other citizens. He specified that this round table of technical and financial partners is of great importance insofar as it shows the existing in terms of the rights of people living with disabilities but also to advocate for their integration into the various humanitarian response programs. and sustainable development in Burundi, taking into account the challenges that hinder the successful completion of their empowerment.
One of the members of the UPHB, Mr. Siméon Barumwete who made the presentation on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the SDGs in Burundi, said that there are obstacles to said inclusion. He cited the physical barriers that prevent people living with disabilities from participating in certain activities deemed inaccessible for these people.
According to Mr. Barumwete, technical and financial partners have an important role in the inclusion of people living with disabilities in the SDGs by working with the government to ensure that national laws and policies meet their needs and by mobilizing the funds necessary for the effective implementation of all the SDGs in general and those related to these people in particular.
For the resident coordinator of the United Nations systems in Burundi, Mr. Damien Mama, the United Nations does not sufficiently include people in this category despite the fact that there are certain activities already carried out, especially in the field of entrepreneurship. and reproductive health. He mentioned the need to further sensitize the United Nations agencies in Burundi to promote and improve practices towards people living with disabilities. He also called for the involvement of all ministries and the revision of water and sanitation policies to facilitate these people to have access to toilets in schools, offices and elsewhere.