Joint UN project promotes disability inclusion hinh anh 1Vietnam’s government is strongly committed to ensuring that people with disabilities can fully participate in society and equally enjoy their fundamental rights. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The United Nations has recently launched a joint project, themed “Working together for an inclusive future. Implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) through effective collaboration.”

Launched just before the World Day of Social Justice (February 20), the joint project brings together the expertise and experience of three agencies - UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP - in supporting national and provincial authorities and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) to support multi-sectoral interventions in support of the fulfillment of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Vietnam.

It is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, who are longstanding donors of the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

The project aims to serve as a vehicle for multi-stakeholder dialogue and partnership to ensure results and impact towards a CRPD compliance environment in Vietnam, which is fundamental to ensure the materialisation of the principles of leaving no one behind and building back better a more inclusive society for all.

Addressing the launch, Vu Thi Kim Hoa, Deputy Director of the Department of Child Affairs under the Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said Vietnam still struggles to transform the provision of the CRPD into concrete policies, systems, and services.

“For this UN joint project, it is a great pleasure for us to be a key partner in capacity-building activities and work together on the essential ‘pre-conditions’ that are indispensable for addressing the needs and opportunities of people with disabilities in public policymaking and programming across all sectors”.

During the formulation of this joint project, UNDP has led the UNPRPD situation analysis in Vietnam which highlighted significant challenges related to the limited participation of OPDs in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of national programmes.

In the next two years, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF as partner agencies, will therefore work towards building the capacity of organisations of persons with disabilities and policymakers on CRPD-compliant policy making and implementation; identifying and addressing gaps in the achievement of essential building blocks or preconditions to CRPD implementation in development and humanitarian programmes; and strengthening the disability-inclusive monitoring and accountability of Vietnam’s National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2021-2025 through the lenses of the CRPD framework.

“People with disability account for 7 percent of Vietnam’s population. We as UN agencies recognise persons with disabilities as key partners in our efforts toward sustainable development in Vietnam, not just as beneficiaries,” said UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen.

“Persons with disabilities should not be only engaged in disability-focused policies, their rights and voices should be integrated into Vietnam’s programmes for implementing the National Socio-Economic Development Strategy. As the coordinator of the joint UN project, UNDP will work closely with all partners to empower people with disability to enable their full participation in the law-making process from the planning stages.  Together we will act to leverage a multi-sectoral approach that addresses fundamental issues needed to drive systemic and effective changes towards disability inclusion.”
Joint UN project promotes disability inclusion hinh anh 2Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
For her part, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam Naomi Kitahara said she believes in the power of people with disabilities, as a solution for societal change, as a solution for policy agenda, as a solution to lead Vietnam to achieve SDGs, and as a solution to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.

“We are confident that this project will advance our work further, by building capacity to transform Vietnam’s commitment to the UN Convention into a reality through inclusive policies, systems and services that benefit all men, women and children with disabilities,” said UNICEF Deputy Representative in Vietnam Lesley Miller.

The project is implemented in a favourable legal environment where Vietnam’s government is strongly committed to ensuring that people with disabilities can fully participate in society and equally enjoy their fundamental rights.

The Government has enacted the Law on Persons with Disabilities since 2010 and is going to revise it in upcoming years. Vietnam also ratified the CRPD in 2015, and various master plans and policies have been issued to guide the CRPD and the Law implementation./.