United Nations to honour disability rights champions on eve of new regional decade

“Asia-Pacific Disability Rights Champions Award”
“Asia-Pacific Disability Rights Champions Award”

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Government of the Republic of Korea will confer the “Asia-Pacific Disability Rights Champions Award” on ten outstanding individuals on 1 November during a high-level intergovernmental meeting in Incheon, Republic of Korea, to launch a new decade-long regional initiative for a more disability-inclusive society.

To be honoured for their achievements in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, the ten Champions include a notable parliamentarian, a community leader in poverty reduction and a women’s rights leader.

The winners were selected by an international jury for the multi-dimensional impact of their work, the wide support they have mobilized and their capacity to serve as role models. Several of the winners played a key role in drafting the historic 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The award ceremony will be held during the “High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Final Review of the Implementation of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003-2012” convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Korea in Incheon from 29 October to 2 November.

An estimated 650 million persons with disabilities live in Asia and the Pacific who face a multitude of attitudinal, institutional, physical and information barriers. Governments of the region have proclaimed a new “Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022”, to promote disability-inclusive development and accelerate the implementation of the Convention.

Also to be honoured are seven individuals who have been recognized as “Promoters for the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022”.

The “Disability Rights Champions” to be honoured in Incheon (in alphabetical order):

Mr. Monthian BUNTAN of Thailand;
Mr. Mohd Abdus Sattar DULAL of Bangladesh;
Mr. Katsunori FUJII of Japan;
Mr. Frank Allen HALL-BENTICK of Australia;
Ms. Lyazzat KALTAYEVA of Kazakhstan;
Mr. Setareki Seru MACANAWAI of Fiji;
Ms. Poonam NATARAJAN of India;
Ms. Maulani Agustiah ROTINSULU of Indonesia;
Mr. Young-Wook SONG of the Republic of Korea; and
Ms. ZHANG Haidi of China.

The “Promoters” (in alphabetical order):

Mr. Ouynbaatar TSEDEN of Mongolia; Mr. Ronnel Agor DEL RIO of Philippines; Mr. Joseph Kin Fun KWOK of Hong Kong, China; Mr. Pema CHHOGYEL of Bhutan; Mr. Thomas Wai Mun NG of Malaysia; Mr. Muhammad Atif SHEIKH of Pakistan, and; Mr. Shudarson SUBEDI of Nepal.

The Disability Rights Champions and Promoters are expected to be the vanguard for raising awareness and catalyzing the implementation of the Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, which is expected to be adopted by ministers at Incheon on 2 November. The Champions and Promoters will also support the ratification and implementation of the Convention in the new Decade.