19 Oct 2009

Forum to focus on Pacific people with disabilities

2:49 pm on 19 October 2009

People with disabilities in the Pacific will be the focus of a Pacific Islands Forum ministerial meeting to be held in the Cook Islands this week.

The Forum Disability Ministers Meeting is the first such meeting to be convened by the Forum Secretariat.

The Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Feleti Teo, says this is a landmark meeting signalling the first time the Forum Secretariat has convened a ministerial meeting with a human rights focus.

He says people with disabilities deserve the practical concern of the Pacific community, as around 10% of all populations have a disability,

At their meeting in Cairns in August, Pacific Islands Forum Leaders, said there was a need for more attention to be paid to Pacific people with disabilities - people they say are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.