At the conclusion of a video conference of disabled people’s organizations, facilitated by Telenor Pakistan, disability leaders from across the country stressed on the government the need to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They urged development organizations to adopt inclusive development plans for the successful implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Telenor Pakistan, in collaboration with Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP), a disabled people’s organization (DPO), helped bring together representatives of 23 DPOs at the ‘First National Virtual Leadership Conference of Persons with Disabilities’ on the eve of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The conference — which centered on the theme ‘Keeping the Promise: Mainstreaming Disability in the Millennium Development Goals Towards 2015 and Beyond’ — served as a platform for Pakistan’s disability leaders to discuss issues related to persons with disabilities and to align their development goals.
Director Corporate Communications & Responsibility, Telenor Pakistan Anjum Rahman speaking after the conference said: “It is heartening to see all the prominent leaders of persons with disabilities come together for the common cause of mainstreaming Pakistan’s disabled community. Telenor Pakistan has been consistently working toward the inclusion of persons with disabilities into society through various initiatives under the umbrella of its ‘Khuddar Pakistan’ program, and will continue to do so. I hope that our combined efforts will help Pakistan in achieving its MDG commitments in the times to come.”
CEO and President, Special Talent Exchange Program Atif Sheikh appreciating Telenor Pakistan’s support said: “This year on International Day of Persons with Disabilities there is a need to ensure that persons with disabilities are integrated into all development activities. While through combined efforts the movement for a rights-based society has gained momentum over the last two decades, a national plan of action is still lacking. The ratification by the government of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will help the disabled community work towards achieving Pakistan’s MDGs.”
The video conference, the first of its kind, was held at Telenor Pakistan’s offices in Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Quetta.