Brunei to host Asean disability conference

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network) Brunei Darussalam through the Council for the Welfare of Persons with Different Abilities (MKOKU), is set to host the 11th Asean Disability Forum (ADF) Conference on Dec 6.

MKOKU President Dato Paduka Mohd Alimin Abdul Wahab (pic), in his capacity as the Chairperson of the 11th ADF Conference, announced this during a press conference at Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam in Kampong Bengkurong, adding that it will be the second time that Brunei plays host to the conference with the first on Dec 11 – 12, 2013.

Supported by the Community Development Department (JAPEM), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and ADF Secretariat, the forum is hosted in commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Mohd Alimin pointed out that the theme, undertaken this year by Sultan Hassanal in its Asean chairmanship, ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’, aligns with MKOKU’s vision and mission.

The ability to care is the intrinsic value of inclusivity the committee works on and dedicates to the council and the nine disabled people organisations (DPOs) under MKOKU.

“We diligently prepare our children for work, play and independent living, seeking the better ways of prospering, the under-privileged and Iiving side-by side with the rest of the community.”

ADF, born out of the Bali Declaration in December 2011, serves the purpose of enhancing the role and participation of persons with disabilities in the Asean community. It is a multi-stakeholder effort, including the Asean member states, its secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia stakeholders in the media, the business sector and the academia as well as the DPOs and their families.

With the secretariat’s leadership of the steering committee in Jakarta, ADF reached the Asean capital cities to promote awareness programmes on fate and fortunes of Asean’s 60 million disabled individuals, since its inaugural meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

Asean, he added, has now formally adopted a common inclusive agenda to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities and the Asean Enabling Masterplan 2025.

“With the theme ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’, ADF in Brunei Darussalam continues to connect to the forum’s main goals, which is to represent the region’s disability movement, providing opportunities to the local and overseas DPOs to ramp up their advocacy and organisational capacity and to facilitate the mutual support and information exchange,” he said.

Recommendations and pronouncements will be laid before the Asean ministers and/or the relevant sectoral bodies, said Mohd Alimin.

The conference will be officially opened by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Aminuddin Abidin as guest of honour.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Deputy Secretary General of Asean for Socio-Cultural Community from the Asean Secretariat Ekkaphab Phanthavong and the conference will feature video displays showcasing the work and activities of local and regional DPOs, video link-ups with ADF partners on location, and in live presentations.

Two sessions will be conducted: ‘Enabling Education Towards Employment amongst PWD in the New Norm’ moderated by SMARTER Brunei Deputy President Sharifah Adila Surya Malai Abdullah; and ‘Digital and Assistive Technology: Active Participation’ moderated by Dr Hajah Helena Hurairah.

Panellists from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand will participate in the first session while host country Brunei will participate in the second session alongside panellists from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

There will be a Q&A session at the end of each session while the closing ceremony will see the reading out of the recommendations and statements of the conference by nominated local reporteurs as well as closing remarks by the 11th ADF 2021 Chairman, which will follow with the virtual handover of the 12th ADF 2022 to Mak Monika from Cambodia.

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Brunei , Asean , disability , conference


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