Asia and the Pacific is home to more than 700 million persons with disabilities who face significant barriers to full and effective participation in society. Member States in the ESCAP region had proclaimed three consecutive Asian and Pacific Decades of Persons with Disabilities between 1993 and 2022 during which substantive progress has been made towards disability-inclusive development.
Through the final review of the third Decade, member States and stakeholders recognized that goals and objectives set forth in the previous Decade from 2013 to 2022, through the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific and the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy, had not been met. In this context, ESCAP member States adopted the Jakarta Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023-2032 in October 2022, which identifies six priority areas of accelerated actions for disability inclusion in progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, under the overall guidance of the Incheon Strategy and the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan and in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Following the adoption of the Jakarta Declaration and the Proclamation of the fourth Decade, the ESCAP secretariat is developing an operational guide on the implementation of the Jakarta Declaration. The operational guide is expected to further outline concrete actions and initiatives in line with the six priority areas, as well as approaches and mechanisms for multistakeholder collaboration in the implementation and progress tracking of the Jakarta Declaration.
Against this background, the secretariat is organizing an expert group meeting that aims at generating substantive inputs with regard to concrete and practical actions that could feed into the operational guide on the efficient implementation of the Jakarta Declaration and the six priority areas it identifies for accelerated actions towards disability-inclusive development.
While Governments of ESCAP member States bear the primary responsibility of implementing the Jakarta Declaration, organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), the private sector and the United Nations as well as other stakeholders also
play pivotal roles. Therefore, the expert group meeting is also expected to produce ideas and suggestions with regard to strategic partnerships and technical collaboration between Governments and other critical actors, be it OPDs, the private sector, academia and the United Nations as well as other intergovernmental and international organizations.