South Sudan Launched the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
© Obale Musa / HI
On 15th August 2023, South Sudan proudly launched the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with the theme: Disability Rights are Human Rights, Leave No One Behind.
This remarkable achievement was the result of numerous advocacy events, including round table discussions with key government stakeholders, civil society organizations, UN agencies, national and international partners, conducted by organizations of persons with disabilities (OPD’s) since 2016 with the support from Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and other partners, culminating in the signing of the convention on 24th February 2023 by the President of the Republic of South Sudan.
The launch was attended by various dignitaries, including the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, who was the chief guest delegated by the President, the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, members of parliament, state ministers, representatives from the EU delegation and AU, civil society organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) as well as their memberships, UN agencies, religious leaders and national and international organizations.
The government expressed its gratitude and appreciation to all the different actors for their commitment, which led to the signing of the convention on 24th February 2023. It further called upon the different partners and donors to continue supporting the government in the implementation of the convention, which is the most critical milestone to be achieved, in order to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities in South Sudan are promoted, protected and maintained to realize inclusive development and ensure that no one is left behind.
The HI team actively participated in the launch of the Convention, providing T-shirts, a sign language interpreter, flyers for Phase 3 – Leave No One Behind! project. One of the Master of the Ceremony, Zakia, HI team member said:
“This has been a great achievement after a very long struggle, and we are longing for domestication of this convention”.
HI remains committed to working alongside the OPD’s and other actors in order to support the government in the implementation of the convention, in this most critical phase. This will involve providing technical support to the proposed national implementation committee of the CRPD, as well as mainstreaming disabilities across all sectors, providing rehabilitation services, economic empowerment ofpersons with disabilities, developing and reviewing disability-inclusive data collection tools, coaching and mentorship other partners, and more.
The official launch of the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will remain a historic consecration for the recognition of the rights of persons with disabilities in South Sudan, and HI is proud to have been part of this achievement.
Text by Obale Musa