Guyana reaffirms commitment to safety and protection of Peoples with Disability at UN


The United Nations (UN) was reminded on Tuesday that Guyana is committed to the safety and protection of persons with disabilities, particularly those in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies.

“Guyana remains committed to ensuring that the protection and safety of persons with disabilities are adequately and systematically addressed through policy, legislation and humanitarian action,” said Ravin Singh, Director of Projects and Policy at the Office of the First Lady.

Singh was speaking during a roundtable discussion on persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, during the 17th Meeting of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Highlighting that persons with disabilities around the world face heightened vulnerabilities in the wake of natural disasters, conflicts, and other crises, he said that it is critical for persons with disabilities to be accounted for and prioritized in disaster risk management activities.

Compounding this issue, he added, is the fact that small states like Guyana are also becoming increasingly vulnerable to the devastating impacts of natural and man-made hazards which disproportionately impact persons with disabilities.

However, Guyana has made positive strides in enduring that persons with disabilities are treated with the highest levels of priority during disasters and emergencies.

Singh pointed to the fact that the National Commission on Disability holds a permanent seat on the national Disaster Risk Management platform, and that this mechanism ensures that persons with disabilities are among the first to receive humanitarian aid and psychosocial support in times of disasters.

Noting that reliable data is essential for effective planning and response, he explained that Guyana is currently conducting a situation analysis to better understand and respond to the emerging needs of children and youths with disabilities; particularly those in situations of risk.

Additionally, Singh highlighted that Guyana is also in the process of drafting comprehensive Disaster Risk Management legislation that will guarantee the inclusion of persons with disabilities in planning; and prioritize their needs in disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

He said too that the growing prevalence of ‘acquired disability’ as a result of conflict – such as the war in Gaza – is a stark reminder of the need for more to be done to protect our people.

Singh is part of a three-member delegation being lead by Her Excellency First Lady Arya Ali who addressed the conference on Tuesday.

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