Parliamentary Secretary Franco Mercieca said that the government is committed to creating an inclusive society, including persons with a disability. Dr Mercieca was addressing the press on his return to Malta from New York at Malta International Airport after having participated in the Sixth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, along with Breaking Limits president Oliver Scicluna.
He said that both the government and NGO presented its suggestions in the run-up to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “Malta is well ahead in the ratification process and is in line with other countries,” he said, adding that Finland and The Netherlands for instance hadn’t even started ratifying the Convention.
The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
He said that the government is committed to implementing the Guardianship Act, penning of the first ever National Disability Policy, the expansion of sheltered and open employment, to ensure physical access, and strengthening of welfare benefits that are there to entice a quality of life rather than a life of dependency on the State, among others.
Dr Gonzi’s tribute to the disabled
Sunday, 21 July 2013
Meanwhile, in an article published in the Malta Independent online, former Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi gave a special word of thanks to the country’s disabled and their families “for all you have given me and for all you have given to Maltese society” in an opinion piece being published today.
Dr Gonzi reflected on how his career in Parliament coincided with the setting up of the National Commission for Persons with Disability, of which he was the first chairman back in 1987.
“Charity has acquired a new meaning: that of a culture in which each person sees him or herself as responsible for and concerned with the wellbeing of others,” he wrote. “No disabled person, and no disadvantaged group for that matter, can fully belong to society without charity developing into a culture of responsibility.
“The home we have built together over the past 25 years is more beautiful, more inclusive, more egalitarian, more open, more just and more humane because disabled people and their families have helped us understand the value of the human being, irrespective of ability or disability.”