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Final Communiqu of the First Regional Conference for the Establishment of the Arab Office for the Disabled

People's International DPI! under the slogan "#o$ards the %trategies of Re&i&al ' the (o&ement of Empo$erment) Partnership) and Inclusion" *eirut) +ebanon ,'-/th December) .0-1

The first regional conference for the establishment of the Arab DPI Office was held in Beirut, between 12th to 14th December 201 , under the slogan of !Towards "trategies of #e$i$al % A &o$ement of 'm(owerment, Partnershi(, and Inclusion! The conference was held following discussions between DPOs and se$eral e)(erts on the rights of (eo(le with disabilities in the Arab world* It is based on an initiati$e b+ the ,ebanese Ph+sicall+ -andica((ed .nion /,P-.0 and the Disabled Peo(le1s International /DPI0 in (artnershi( with Dia2onia* The conference en3o+ed the (resence of se$eral well%2nown figures, among whom was the Disabled Peo(le1s International /DPI0 President, &r* 4a$ed Abidi, and 52 (artici(ants, from ,ebanon, 4ordan, 6emen, Palestine, 'g+(t, Tunisia, Algeria, Ira7 and &orocco* The ,ib+an and "+rian delegations were unable to attend due to the (olitical and securit+ situation (re$ailing in their res(ecti$e countries* #a2ing note of the follo$ing circumstances3 1* One hundred and thirt+ eight countries signed and ratified the International 8on$ention for the #ights of Persons with Disabilities /8#PD0* Accordingl+, (ersons with disabilities, all o$er the world, were increasingl+ included in the areas related to inclusi$e de$elo(ment, national and international (olicies and (rograms9 additionall+, the (artici(ation of DPOs and (ersons with disabilities in monitoring and im(lementing the 8#PD increased substantiall+9 in addition the 8#PD enacts regional and international coo(eration mechanisms among countries in different regions of the world* 2* "i)teen Arab countries ha$e signed and ratified the 8#PD since 200:* * The following indicators show that there was no noted (rogress in the field of enacting and im(lementing the 8#PD in the Arab ;orld, nor in the areas of national and regional coordination mechanisms< a0 The lac2 of an effecti$e, influential and regular (resence of Arab DPO alliances in international fora (articularl+ at the annual .= &eeting of "tates Parties* b0 The lac2 of data, re(orts and u(dated information translated into Arabic*

c0 The lac2 of communication mechanisms, resources and tools em(owering DPOs to im(lement the 8#PD on a large scale in the Arab world* d0 The wide (re$alence of stereot+(es based on the medical model still ingrained within disabilit+ regulations and legislations in the Arab world9 no significant (rogress was noted to raise the awareness of go$ernmental and non%go$ernmental (arties in order to change this (re$ailing medical model and a((roach on the legislati$e le$el* e0 Arab go$ernments> attem(ts to re$iew national legislations in com(liance with the 8#PD do not conform to our e)(ectations9 on the contrar+ the+ re$eal a low awareness le$el of the 8#PD commitments and s(irit* ;e are still witnessing the ongoing de$elo(ment of discriminator+ legislations, (olicies and (rogrammes* f0 The full absence of an+ monitoring mechanism on the national le$el, in conformit+ with Article *2 in the Arab ;orld, cou(led with wea2 go$ernmental coordination mechanisms* g0 The lac2 of a regional coordination model, and the absence of a database about the disabilit+ status in each countr+ in the region* This information, if a$ailable, is usuall+ inaccessible, un(ublished and difficult to obtain, in addition to the wea2 regional communication mechanisms on international de$elo(ments* 4* Persons with disabilities in the Arab world still suffer from ongoing e)clusion and isolation9 according to ;orld Ban2 estimates, 20? of the (oor are disabled (ersons* Persons with disabilities in the Arab world still suffer from high unem(lo+ment and illiterac+ rates, wea2 inclusi$e mechanisms, and a total absence of some disabilit+ sectors including issues related to (ersons with (s+chosocial disabilities and short (eo(le* 5* ;e gathered at this conference in order to set u( a (ositi$e and efficient regional ci$il societ+ framewor2, this framewor2 aims at re$i$ing the Arab disabilit+ mo$ement in fa$or of a 7ualitati$e transformation and the institutionali@ation of a new regional rights%based mo$ement9 #herefore) $e ta2e the follo$ing decisions3 i* .nanimousl+ su((ort the decision of the DPI to gi$e the mandate to the ,ebanese Ph+sicall+ -andica((ed .nion in order to coordinate establishing the DPI office in the Arab region, in addition to establishing the national alliance in ,ebanon* * ii* O(en the DPI membershi( to Arab DPO associations encouraging them to (artici(ate and adhere to DPI according to the norms the+ set u( themsel$es9 and encouraging unorgani@ed grou(s to form disabilit+ networ2s (ro$ided that the ma3orit+ of them re(resent (ersons with disabilities9 while gi$ing a s(ecial focus on (arents associations, and organi@ations of (s+chosocial disabilities, short (eo(le associations, in addition to other marginali@ed grou(s*

iii* "u((ort national alliances to enable them to enact their role in monitoring and im(lementing the 8on$ention* i$* "ee2 to enhance (olic+ ma2ing mechanisms on the national and regional le$els* $* 'ndea$or to (romote DPO (artici(ation in regional fora and set u( (artnershi(s in order to institutionali@e their inclusion among sta2eholders in the (ri$ate and (ublic sectors, to achie$e inclusi$e de$elo(ment* $i* 'lect a re(resentati$e to coordinate the (rocess of setting u( a national coalition, con$ene a national meeting for DPOs to discuss the results of this conference, recei$e a((lications from alliances and submit a((lications to the ,P-. to (resent them to the DPI world 8ouncil, $ii* The re(resentati$es were elected according to the information below< 1* 2* * 4* 5* D* :* F* +E*A4O4< -assan &#O.' A ,P-. 5ORDA4< Adnan A, ABBO.DI % ! Disabilit+ '7ualit+ Borum ! /under establishment0 (OROCCO< Ahmed BA#CI6A % !&orocco Borum for Disabilities and #ights! IRA6< Al -assan A, #IBA'- % !"hort "tature Peo(le in Ira7! A+7ERIA< "amir &IDA=I % !The Algerian Bederation for the Disabled! PA+E%#I4E< "hatha Abu "rour from the Eeneral .nion of Disabled Palestinians E78P#< #eham A, &A"#6 % !Association of the "e$en &illion for the Disabled! #94I%IA<6ousri A, &AGAT6 % !The Tunisian Organi@ation for Defending the #ights of Persons with Disabilities! H* 8E(E4< &anale A, A"-O., % !Al "aeda Deaf Eirls Association! $iii* &eet within si) months, if (ossible, to highlight the achie$ed (rogress in the establishment of the DPI Arab #egional Office* %%%%%%%% 'nd %%%%%%%