Statement at the UN Conference on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo
Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection. Ghana
Ghana Permanent Mission to the United Nations
June 15, 2021, New York City
THE 14TH SESSION ON THE CONFERENCE OF THE STATE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
UN Secretary General,
President of the General Assembly,
Distinguish Chair and Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I bring you warm greetings from the President of the Republic of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the good people of Ghana. It is a great pleasure to participate in this year’s conference which happens to be the 14 th session on the Rights of Persons with Disability (PWD). This year’s theme: “Building back better: COVID-19 response and recovery; Meeting the needs, Realizing the rights and Addressing the socio-economic impacts on persons with disabilities” is timely in this pandemic era.
Chairperson, The Ministry is in close relation with the Ghana Federation of Disability which is an umbrella body for all forms of disability, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to ensure the rights and protection of persons with disability in the country’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. The Government of Ghana in its bid to effectively promote the rights, participation, empowerment and inclusion of Persons with Disability in sectors of development during this COVID-19 era has initiated, strengthened and is implementing the following interventions.
To ensure that persons with disability continue to receive livelihood support during this pandemic era, the Ministry of Roads and Highways has maintained the over 100 PWDs who were recruited to manage the collection of road tolls across the country. This is to economically empower PWDs to take charge of their socio-economic needs and meaningfully contribute to the nation’s developmental process.
To ensure that no one is left behind in our educational system, the Government of Ghana continues to implement its all-inclusive education policy. The Free School Policy is to ensure that all children attain at least secondary and vocational education with no discrimination to disability.
Persons with Disability are given visibility through media discussions for people to appreciate the concerns of PWDs during the country’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. It is also intended to positively portray them in the society.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana effectively and efficiently implemented its policy that mandates all District Assemblies to allocate 3% of their annual District Assembly Common Fund budgetary allocation into a Disability Fund to provide technical and financial support for disability issues. Also, Persons with disability are benefiting from the COVID-19 Trust Fund that the Government of Ghana has established. This has lessened the burden of the impact of the pandemic on Person with disability.
Amendment of Laws
The Government of Ghana in ensuring the full participation of Persons with Disability is currently working in partnership with the National Council on Persons with Disability and the Ghana Federation of the disabled to amend the Disability Act to conform with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. The Government of Ghana in partnership with Development Partners, State Parties, Civil Society Organisations and all other relevant Authorities would continue to promote policies and create the enabling environment for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to effectively function as citizens as we continue to implement interventions to respond positively to COVID-19.
I thank you for your kind attention