-As NCD Boss Preaches Doctrine Of Peace
MONROVIA-Chairperson and Executive Director of the National Commission on Disabilities (NCD), Madam Madam Daintowon Domah Pay-Bayee , has cautioned members of the disabled community to be promoters of their rights through rights-based approaches void of violence.
Madam Pay-Bayee also called on members of the community to make proper use of their numerical strength through joint- efforts to address issues affecting members, so that they too, will make a positive impact in society instead of engaging in acts of violence.
The NCD boss was speaking at the weekend in Ganta, Nimba County at a program marking the commemoration of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).
Organized here by NCD with support from the country’s development partners, IDPD is observed on December 3 annually with the aim to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with a disability.
This year’s IDPD was held under the theme: “Transformative Solutions For Inclusive Development: The Rule Of Innovation In Fueling An Accessible And Equitable World,” and under the local theme: Liberia! Not All Disabilities Are Visible. Transformative Solutions With Innovation For An Accessible And Equitable Development.”
“We have a very huge number that cannot be overlooked in any society. We are assets to society; we are assets and not liabilities to society. Therefore, let’s us not stop here. Together let’s press forward together, but let’s use the rights-based approach in addressing our issues,” she said.
“As I said, don’t keep silent; keep together to make decisions in our interest. As the 2023 elections are drawing closer to us, let’s ensure a violence-free election. Let’s vote rights for our children’s future. Let’s not use our wheelchairs to block traffic,” Madam Pay-Bayee cautioned members.
The celebration of this year’s IDPD was accompanied by the launch of the country’s National Action Plan (NAP) for disabilities.
“This is a joyful day for showing the inclusion of all citizens across the globe and it’s a happy day for us as today also marks the launch of our National Action Plan. The development of the NAP is to ensure that issues relating to the rights of disabilities are actualized. The NAP that we are about to launch today looks at the grassroots approach by initiating programs that look at the improvement of livelihoods of people with disabilities,” added.
The keynote speaker at the occasion, Mr. Sylvester Mombo, stated that the NAP of the disabilities community must be used to put the government’s feet to the fire and to attract support from donors and the international community.
As laid out in the theme of the celebration, he said, the engagement of government and partners will ensure transformative solutions with innovation for an accessible and equitable development for persons with disabilities in Liberia as
“There is hope for recovery as the National Action Plan for the inclusion of persons with disabilities 2023 — 2027 as it aligned with the National Strategic disability roadmap is a great milestone that has been crafted by persons with disabilities themselves in collaboration with civil society actors and set in motion by launching today which is our principal instrument to put the government feet to the fire and to attract support from Donors and the international Community to ensure Transformative Solutions with Innovation for an Accessible and Equitable Development for persons with disabilities in Liberia,” Mr. Mombo noted.
Mr. Stephen Rodrigues, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to Liberia, committed the UN system’s full commitment to supporting the disabled community.
“The disability community has good interaction and reflection and it’s a great pleasure UN to be a partner. I want to thank the Government of Liberia for its partnership with the UN, and I want to thank Madam Pay-Bayee for her continued engagement. She’s a true leader,” Mr. Rodrigues lauded.
He pointed out that as the UN moves to have an inclusive world where everyone is treated with equality and dignity, and celebrates of the international day for disabilities, national decision-making processes should be conclusive and inclusive of all so that no one is left behind.
On the launch of the NAP, the UNDP country boss stressed the need for joint effort towards the full implementation of the national document.
In that vein, he called on the Liberian Government to carry on sustained advocacies for the implementation of the NAP, adding: “We need a world that is inclusive and a world that leaves no one behind.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief of the Party of AIFO, Madam Laura Todescato, echoed her voice for the inclusion of the disabled in every decision-making process.
She mentioned that the exclusion of people of disabilities has significant economic consequences on any society.
“People with a disability must be included at all levels of the nation’s development program. Their inclusion can lead to an economic boost. We believe disabilities are important in society and so AIFO is with you for extensive collaboration,” the AIFO COP told the gathering.
Meanwhile, launching the NAP, Mr. Scott Johnson, Chief of Office Staff in the office of the Minister of State, Mr. Blamo Wesseh, congratulated NCD and its partners for the document that will inform the government it its decision-making processes.
He then pledged President George M. Weah’s full commitment to promoting the full realization of the rights of all persons.
“For what we have seen, you can be assured of our moral and financial support to NCD so that your words can be heard at the national development agenda,” Johnson among other things told the indicated.