Dubai, 4 February 2020: In a historic development, the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to promote the rights of children and youth with disabilities, and to work together for their greater inclusion into society.
The MoU stems from a mutual desire to use sport to empower children and youth with disabilities to reach their full potential and drive social inclusion. It reflects both organisation’s commitment to promoting the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The MoU outlines several partnership objectives which, in addition to promotion of the CRPD, include support for initiatives that increase provision of assistive devices, scale up provision of accessible infrastructure and use sport to eradicate the stigma and discrimination faced by children and youth with disabilities.
Three areas of co-operation are also identified:
- Public Communication based around the key regional and global high-profile para-sport events,
- Advocacy to lobby for more investment in programmes, assistive devices and infrastructure for children and youth with disabilities across government and the private sector.
- Community Engagement to promote positive social and behavioural change through work with media, communities and individuals as well as policy and legislative changes.
“Today is an historic day for the entire family of the Asian Paralympic Committee. We are very proud to be associated with UNICEF whose aims and objectives align so closely with ours. This new association will help us achieve our new Strategic Objectives which also focus on using sport to engage young people with disabilities and promote social inclusion,” APC President Mr. Majid Rashed said at the signing ceremony.
“We look forward to implementing the MoU across Asia which is the biggest continent with the highest number of children and youth with disabilities. I am hopeful that all the 44 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) within the five Sub regions of Asia will benefit from this association contributing to the growth of the Paralympic Movement in the region and ultimately a more inclusive society.”
Mr. Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF Representative in the Gulf Area, who signed the document on behalf of UNICEF, said: “We are excited to partner with the Asian Paralympic Committee in our mission to end discrimination and negative attitudes against some of the most marginalized and excluded children and young people in society. Our partnership with the APC strives to defend the rights of children with disabilities and will help give them a fair chance to fulfil their potential, leaving no one behind.”
The MoU will run through to February 2022 and will be regularly reviewed.
It’s signing comes after APC President Mr. Rashed attended a meeting and participated at the United Nations’ ’12th session of Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ at its headquarters in New York, last June.