Government to Appoint Ambassador for Disability Inclusive Development
29 July 2013 at 3:55 pm
The Federal Government is to appoint an ambassador for Disability-Inclusive Development to advocate for people with disability in developing countries to have equal access and rights in their communities.
International Development Minister Melissa Parke said the ambassador would champion the inclusion of disability within international commitment frameworks, including discussions on the post-2015 development agenda.
The ambassador would also be responsible for asking partner governments to do their part in supporting people living with a disability, and ensuring that Australia continues to set a leading example through its aid program, she said.
Minister Parke said the role would strengthen international advocacy and cement Australia’s leadership in this area globally.
“Australia will be the first country to have an ambassador focused solely on disability-inclusive development,” she said.
“We are demonstrating to the world how central the matter of disability-inclusion is to our international aid efforts.”
“If you think about the difficulties that people with disabilities have had in Australia to access appropriate services – and that is why we are establishing DisabilityCare in Australia, then think about the worlds poorest and imagine those with disabilities who are the most disadvantaged of all and that includes their carers- mostly women and girls- who can’t go to school, who can’t work,” she said.
“If we help the people with disability we are also helping their families and their communities.”
Minister Parke said AusAID’s Development For All strategy aimed to ensure people with disability were increasingly taking a central role in decision making and ensuring policies and programs were shaped to better take account of their requirements.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the appointment of an ambassador was a crucial part of Australia’s International Aid.
“Essentially, we have got a whole bunch of people among the poorest and the poor around the world who need, frankly more assistance,” he said.
“Those who suffer from all sorts of disabilities who often become second, third and fourth class citizens- and worse- in some of the poorest countries on the planet.
“So this is designed to actually help them lift their profile and do what we can to provide a decent life for all.”
The role of the Ambassador for Disability-Inclusive Development is expected to be filled by a Senior Executive in AusAID at First Assistant Director General level.
The appointment process is expected to take place in the coming weeks.