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2018 AICHR Regional Dialogue

From December 3 - 5, AGENDA participated in the 2018 AICHR Regional Dialogue and launch of the Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Masterplan) in Bangkok, Thailand. The Masterplan 2025 was officially launched on December 3, concurrent with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and was followed by a roundtable discussion on the document. After lunch, the participants visited an exhibition on UD and assistive devices at the Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani. The panel discussions were held on December 4 on (1) UD: Concept, Application and Challenges; (2) Implementing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11: UD, Inclusive Cities and ASEAN Heritage; (3) UD and ICT in Financial Services: Current Development and Good Practices; and (4) Implementing SDG 16: UD and Access to Justice. The three position papers developed during the AGENDA DPO Coordination Meeting were shared and used as basis document of each group discussion on December 5.

DPOs Coordination Meeting

On  December 2, the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) organized a Disabled People’s Organization (DPO) Coordination Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand which was attended by 52 participants from 27 DPOs and CSO from nine Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States (excluding Brunei Darussalam). After the opening remarks by IFES Asia-Pacific Technical Advisor Kyle Lemargie, AGENDA Disability Rights Advisor Tolhas Damanik introduced the concept of Universal Design (UD), which would be the topic of the subsequent 2018 ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Regional Dialogue. Participants were clustered into three groups to discuss barriers, strategies, and recommendations to the three themes of the Regional Dialogue: UD on (1) Inclusive Cities and Asian Heritage, (2) Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Financial Services, and (3) Access to Justice. The discussions led to three DPO position papers which were presented at the 2018 AICHR Regional Dialogue.

Strengthening the ASEAN Community Towards a More Inclusive Region: the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 has been Adopted!

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted at the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore on November 15, 2018. The securing of inclusive access and the reduction of barriers, with a focus on enabling persons with disabilities to effectively engage in the ASEAN community, have been pinpointed among ASEAN’s key priorities and challenges to achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and its blueprints. The Enabling Masterplan 2025 will institutionalize rights-based approaches to disability access across all ASEAN development areas by guiding regional and national policy through specific policy outcomes and priority actions, thereby reaffirming the rights of persons with disabilities under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). There are 76 priority areas and key action points in the Enabling Masterplan 2025 spanning all three ASEAN Community Pillars: 24 key action points for the Political-Security Community Pillar, 25 under the Economic Pillar, and 27 key action points for the Socio-Cultural Pillar.

This exciting regional development marks the culmination of several years of engagement between the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA), which was established by IFES in 2011 and includes regional disabled people’s organizations and  election-focused civil society organizations in Southeast Asia.  Since 2015, AGENDA has organized interface meetings to provide DPOs the opportunity to meet with AICHR representatives and help shape the draft. As the Masterplan was finalized, AGENDA’s feedback workshops provided both DPOs and government officials a key space for sharing concerns on the contents and implementation of the plan. AICHR will officially launch the Enabling Masterplan 2025 at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities commemoration on December 3, 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Strategic Communication and Advocacy for Regional Disability Inclusion Training

On November 1-4, the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) conducted a strategic communication and advocacy for regional disability inclusion training in Jakarta, Indonesia with fifteen representatives from eight Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) – Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO), Hanoi Independent  Living Center (Hanoi ILC), Myanmar Independent Living Initiative (MILI), National Council for the Blind Malaysia (NCBM), Nationwide Organization of Visually Impaired Empowered Ladies (NOVEL) Perkumpulan Penyandang Disabilitas Indonesia (PPDI), Regional Association of Women with Disabilities, Thailand Association of the Blind (TAB)  and a member of the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL).

Participants learned about the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 on Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which will be launched on December 3, 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The interactive training aimed to familiarize the participants with the structures of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) mechanisms, strategies to leveraging advocacy within ASEAN, and methods for analyzing legal frameworks. Participants worked together to generate a simple, clear, and innovative advocacy message to raise public awareness of the Masterplan at the regional level. These ideas are now being developed further ahead of the launch.

Joint Workshop of Members of 8th Task Force Meeting and DPOs

On 16 September, AGENDA organized an additional joint workshop with participating DPOs, CSOs and AICHR representatives from Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia, as well as the Indonesian focal point from the Senior Official Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD). The Australian Regional Mission to ASEAN was also in attendance. The additional meeting gave DPO and CSO representatives from throughout ASEAN the opportunity to meet and advocate directly with Task Force members according to a united strategy. Task Force co-chair, Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, expressed his confidence that the Masterplan will be adopted by ASEAN leaders in November for its successful launch on 3 December. He also raised the importance for DPOs and CSOs to encourage their respective national ministries to ratify the Masterplan in time for AICHR’s fourth Regional Dialogue on Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 4-5 December. In addition to providing DPO and CSO participants with the opportunity to liaise directly with the Task Force, participants also used the momentum of the workshop to further collaborate on their joint advocacy strategy and identify ways to increase awareness of the Masterplan.

 

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AGENDA Coalition Building Workshop

In concurrence with the eighth Task Force meeting, AGENDA organized a joint workshop with representatives from the ASEAN Development Forum (ADF) in Bangkok from 14-15 September entitled “Coalition Building: Leveraging the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan to Promote Disability Rights Across the Region”. 24 representatives from nine ASEAN Member States participated on the three-day workshop (all but Brunei Darussalam). The first two days covered topics such as the structure of – and strategies for engagement with – ASEAN and an introduction to the Enabling Masterplan, as well as methods of coalition-building, consistent messaging and strategic advocacy planning. Participants learned to work and cooperate across network lines by building a coalition of disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and CSOs to more effectively advocate for disability rights and the effective implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan.

 

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The 8th Task Force meeting on the Enabling 2025 for Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

On 14-15 September, General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) Disability Rights Advisor Tolhas Damanik stood in as an acting representative for Indonesia to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights’ (AICHR) eight Task Force meeting on the Enabling 2025 for Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, its final meeting, in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting finalized the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan, which will encourage Member States to actively integrate disability perspectives into their regional and national development frameworks. The Enabling Masterplan is aimed to be adopted in November 2018.

 

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