New Zealand’s new partnership with the Pacific Disability Forum

  • Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Disability Issues

 A new partnership between New Zealand and the Pacific Disability Forum was announced today by Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, at the United Nations in New York.

The Pacific Disability Forum is a regional non-governmental organisation that works to build the capacity of disabled people’s organisations in the region and aims to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the Pacific through advocacy.

“This new partnership will help New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours achieve our shared vision for a safe, stable and prosperous Pacific,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“New Zealand is committed to working with Pacific Island countries to address human rights challenges in our region.

“We also need to ensure that development in the Pacific region takes into account the needs of disabled people.

The New Zealand–Pacific Disability Forum partnership will assist Pacific Island countries to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Alongside New Zealand and Australia, fifteen Pacific Island countries have now ratified the CRPD.

New Zealand is contributing $183,000 towards the Pacific Disability Forum’s work programme in 2019/20.

This includes work on:

  • National disability policy development
  • Support for inclusive and accessible elections
  • Activities focused on gender and youth with disabilities
  • Support to groups helping people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities.

“New Zealand is supportive of the Pacific Disability Forum’s objective of a disability-inclusive Pacific by 2030. We will be sharing ideas and leveraging off one another’s work, so we can accelerate progress for people with disabilities in our region, Carmel Sepuloni said.

The announcement was made at an event co-hosted by New Zealand, the Pacific Islands Forum, the Pacific Disability Forum, Australia, and the International Disability Alliance during the annual Conference of State Parties to the CRPD in New York.