President Stevo Pendarovski, on the occasion of December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, met today and talked with representatives of the National Council of Disability Organizations of Macedonia.
Pointing out that our country ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities almost a decade ago, President Pendarovski said that as a country we still lag behind in its full and consistent implementation. President Pendarovski reiterated today that it is high time to implement the provisions of the Convention, especially Articles 5 and 9, i.e. the rights of accessibility and equality and non-discrimination.
“It is necessary for the competent institutions, with the direct support and involvement of the representatives of the organizations of persons with disabilities, to approach more effectively to the implementation of the mentioned articles. It is also necessary for persons with disabilities and their organizations to be involved in the monitoring, in the supervision over the implementation of the Convention, and appropriate modalities must be found for your participation in the monitoring so that it is not just a formality”, President Pendarovski said.
At the meeting with the representatives of the associations of the physically disabled, the deaf and blind, the associations of the persons with intellectual disability and the civil and labor disabled, President Pendarovski said that the dynamics of the state institutions which work on removing the physical and mental barriers must be increased, as well as the implementation of inclusive education, and thus overcoming the deep-rooted stereotypes.
“Institutions working with people with disabilities need to have adequate human, financial and technical resources. At the same time, compromises must not be made and the processes must not be delayed, regardless of all economic, political or, as at the moment, health challenges and problems”, President Pendarovski stressed.
In conditions of Covid-19 pandemic, as President Pendarovski added, the most vulnerable categories of our fellow citizens are most endangered; they need support, solidarity and care. In that regard, President Pendarovski concluded, “in addition to the institutional measures that are most important at the moment, there is a need for increased individual responsibility and engagement of each of our citizens. We can all contribute as individuals with our behavior, pro-activity and responsibility”.
At the meeting, the representatives of the Association presented the problems and challenges they face every day to President Pendarovski. Above all, they referred to the inaccessibility of the facilities, the inaccessibility of education, the unemployment of people with disabilities, the low benefits from the state, the lack of appropriate aids.
In order to improve the situation, President Pendarovski promised not to sign the Decree promulgating the Law on Construction if it does not implement the main suggestions of the people with disabilities, which provide for new facilities to be accessible to people with disabilities.
December 3 has been declared International Day of Persons with Disabilities by the UN General Assembly on 14 October 1992. This year the day is marked under the motto “Building better support: for people with disabilities – an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-Covid-19 world”.