International Day of Persons with Disabilities held virtually

Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as chairperson of the National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, delivered a speech via videoconferencing at the virtual ceremony marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities yesterday morning.
Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye (Vice-Chairperson of the committee), Deputy Minister U Soe Aung, other senior officials, UN officials and representatives of disabled persons participated in this virtual ceremony.
During the ceremony, the Vice-President said that this year’s ceremony was held in the form of videoconferencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Myanmar has held the ceremony marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities annually since 1994, according to the Vice-President.
At the time when the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, his committee is cooperating with the Joint Committee for the COVID-19 Emergency Response for Persons with Disabilities, the Myanmar Federation of Persons with Disabilities, and relevant ministries to provide support to disabled persons.
Regarding projects to help the PWDs, the Vice-President said that pilot projects for Barrier-Free Community had been carried out at the Myoma Market and Water Park in Nay Pyi Taw.
The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism also announced on 14 June that the Myanmar Barrier Free Tourism Pilot Project would soon be carried out for Persons with Disabilities to be able to travel to the famous destinations in Nay Pyi Taw Council Area, Yangon and Mandalay Regions and in Bagan. The 61st UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its Optional Protocol on 13 December 2006. Myanmar ratified the UNCRPD on 7 December 2011, according to the Vice-President.
He said that Myanmar, in cooperation with UN organizations, development partners and organizations of Persons with Disabilities, is making efforts to adhere to the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (2013-2022) and the ASEAN Enabling Master Plan (2025).
The theme of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 World”. Myanmar is making great efforts to continue supporting Persons with Disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis, to improve the living standards of Persons with Disabilities with a budget of K3 billion, and to provide mental and physical assistance to the Persons with Disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the ceremony, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Mr Ola Almgren read out the UN Secretary-General’s official message marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye delivered a congratulatory speech for the event. During the ceremony, the names of prize winners in the essay competition marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities were also announced. —MNA(Translated by Maung Maung Swe)

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