By IDA

 - October 23, 2019

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Invitation to join and information

The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities (SGPwD) is the representative civil society body of persons with disabilities to the United Nations High Level Political Forum on the 2030 Agenda. The SGPwD is a network of persons with disabilities, disabled persons organizations (DPOs) and other allies. The Asia Pacific is one of the five major global regions as defined by the United Nations. This email intends to establish a strong Asia Pacific Disability Constituency (APDC) as well as provide relevant information. All activities of the APDC are organised in relation to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) implementation and the Economic and Social Commission of the Asia Pacific (ESCAP) Sustainable Development Forum. In the Asia-Pacific region, there is a strong and well-established coordination mechanism; the Asia-Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM). The AP-RCEM engages in sustainable development processes and the Disability Constituency is part of it. Persons with disabilities as a regional stakeholder group have the rights to intervene, submit position papers and documents, hold side events and engage fully as a civil society stakeholder at the ESCAP Sustainable Development Forum and related events. 

Contents:

1. Introduction to the new Focal Point of the Disability Constituency in the Asia Pacific: Villaney Remengesau 
2. Establishing the disability constituency in Asia Pacific

  • Join the Asia-Pacific Disability Group listserv
  • Election of subregional focal points 

3. ESCAP Sustainable Development Forum Introduction
4. Civil Society Regional Engagement Mechanism in ESCAP Peoples Forum
5. Relevant information and engagement opportunities

 

1. Villaney Remengesau, the new Focal Point of the Disability Constituency in the Asia Pacific 

Ms. Villaney Remengesau is the Secretary of OMEKESANG, the national disabled persons organization to promote disability awareness and advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities in Palau and beyond. Ms. Remengesau is a Board member of the Palau Parents Empowered, an organization and resource center for parents of children and youth with disabilities. She is also now a founder and team leader for the Palau Community Based Inclusive Development and Disability Consortium. Ms. Remengesau is also the current female Co-chair of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) Board, serving from August 2018 - July 2020. Ms. Remengesau is one of the members for the Pacific CBID Committee. She is now the new PDF representative to the Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (APRCEM) and focal point for the Disability Constituency within APRCEM. She also sits in the International Disability Alliance representing the PDF.

Aside from her disability works, Ms. Remengesau currently serves as President of the Belau Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (BANGO), an umbrella organization and coordinating mechanism for civil society organizations and non-government organizations in Palau. She is one of the council members in the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) representing BANGO. At the government level, Ms. Remengesau is a member for Palau Severely Disabled Assistance Fund Screening Committee, Palau Human Rights Working Group, Healthcare Coalition, UNHSI, Palau Children for Special Healthcare Needs Advisory Committee (CSHCN), and Climate Change Policy Working Group. 

She has worked in partnership with regional CSOs to ensure disability is in leaders’ platform agendas such as 2018 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Palau and 2017 Forum Leaders Meeting in Samoa. This is due to her remarkable efforts on initiating and coordinating various national consultations and meetings with CSOs on the briefings and understanding more on the Sustainable Development Goals and its impact along with these stakeholders contributions and participation in the national discussions for sustainable development. Ms. Remengesau also worked with her disability core team members on drafting and submission of the Palau CRC Shadow Report, Palau CRPD State Government Report, and Palau CRPD Shadow Report. She has been working with her local CSOs team to work together with the Government of Palau for the VNR Reporting and the continued advocacy, implementation, and monitoring on SDGs. She represented the disability movement and BANGO in the state delegation to the HLPF in 2019. 

Ms. Villaney Remengesau was born on March 30, 1985 in Koror, Republic of Palau. 

2. Establishing the disability constituency in Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) meets annually to discuss the implementation of the SDGs. The AP-RCEM facilitates the participation of civil society at the Forum and the Disability Constituency under the umbrella of the AP-RCEM forms a part of that. The Constituency works to ensure that persons with disabilities from the Asia Pacific can unify their messages as a stakeholder group, and are able to connect and interlink messages with the wider regional civil society, the UN and Member States. A key component of the organizational structure of the Constituency is the role of Focal Point and Regional Focal Point. The Focal Point share information and opportunities, coordinate joint messages and carry out advocacy outreach. The Focal Points ensure that the worksteams adhere to the text of the CRPD, the 2030 Agenda and other key documents. Regional Focal Point function in the same way (from the SGPwD Terms of Reference, available here). 

If you want to be part of the Asia Pacific Disability Constituency and receive information about the region, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and on how to engage, we are inviting you to join the Asia-Pacific Disability Group Listserv!  We will be using the listserv to disseminate information, coordinate joint messages, and correspond about important events. 

What is the listserv?
This is an open and moderated forum intended to serve as a platform for exchange, knowledge sharing and peer learning for the disability community in the Asia-Pacific region. The listserv will share information and opportunities for persons with disabilities related to the Asia-Pacific Regional Sustainable Development Forum. Members of the listserv are encouraged to raise any issues, make suggestions and communicate with one another. The listserv is open to all persons with disabilities, organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs), non-governmental and other organizations working on the rights of persons with disabilities, non-governmental donors working with persons with disabilities and disability rights advocates in the Asia-Pacific region.

To join the listserv:

  • Step 1: Click on: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/asiapacificdisabilitygroup/info 
  • Step 2: Click “Join Group”
  • Step 3: You will be directed to a Sign-up page. Click: “Don’t have an account? Sign Up”
  • Step 4: Sign up page. Click “I’d rather use my own email address”
  • Step 5: Enter your details and click “Continue”
  • Step 6: You will be asked to verify your email address. Click “Send me an Account Key.” Check your email and enter the Account Key.

You will now be a member of the listserv!

For any questions about the listserv, please contact: Laisa Vereti mppa [at] pacificdisability.org

  • Be a Subregional Focal Point 

Subregional Focal Points will carry out technical facilitation of Working Groups, organize meetings, and maintain official records of meetings, participants, and action steps. The subregional focal points will help to ensure that the Working Groups adhere to the text of the CRPD, the 2030 Agenda, and other key documents, and report to the regional focal point of the Asia Pacific, Villaney Remengesau.

There will be elections for the Subregional Focal Points for the SGPwD in the subregional offices in the Asia Pacific. The offices are as follows: 

  • East and North-East AsiaChina, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation. Associate members: Hong Kong and Macau;
  • North and Central AsiaThe Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Armenia, and Georgia;
  • The PacificFiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Associate members: American Samoa, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Guam, New Caledonia, Niue and the Northern Mariana Islands;
  • South-East Asia: Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Laos;
  • South and South-West AsiaAfghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey.  

Sub regional Focal Point Nomination:

We are initiating an open, transparent and participatory application process to identify the  Subregional Focal Points. This is a volunteer, unpaid position, and the core responsibilities are: 

  • To share information received from regional focal point with organisations of persons with disabilities at the subregional level;

  • Maintain communication and coordination with regional and other subregional focal points;

  • Organise meetings, capacity building workshops/webinars in coordination with the regional focal points; 

  • Strengthen and engage subregional DPOs in the SDGs implementation;

  • Work in cooperation and collaboration with the Regional Focal Point. 

More information can be found in the Terms of Reference of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities here. 

We strongly encourage and welcome nominations of all persons with disabilities – and particularly those from underrepresented groups – in rural and urban areas, including persons with psychosocial, intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as women, older persons and indigenous persons with disabilities.

APPLY! If you wish to apply, click here.

3. Background on the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) preparatory meetings for the sessions of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) happen every year in March, in Bangkok, Thailand. The preparatory meetings are an opportunity to bring together stakeholders from government, academia, the international community, civil society and the private sector and provide them with: (1) the opportunity to provide sub regional perspectives for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and for the Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific; (2) an enabling environment for knowledge sharing and engaging in technical level discussions on the theme of the APFSD and HLPF. This year's session addressed the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” and on the cluster of SDGs to be reviewed at the HLPF. The Forum conducted an in-depth review of Goal 4 on quality education, Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth, Goal 10 on reducing inequalities, Goal 13 on climate action, Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions and Goal 17 on partnerships for the Goals and their interlinkages. It supported the presentation of voluntary national reviews and assessed the progress of the regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. Discussions on regional follow-up and review also informed the review of the high-level political forum on sustainable development.

The APFSD agenda addressed:

  1. Regional perspectives on the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including in-depth review of the theme and cluster of goals; and,

  2. Strengthening implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific, including the assessment of the progress of the regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific.

Further information on this meeting can be found here.

4. Background on Civil Society Coordination Mechanism in ESCAP Peoples Forum 2020

The Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM) is a platform for civil society that aims to enable stronger cross-constituency coordination. It seeks to ensure that viewpoints and voices from all subregions of the Asia Pacific are represented and heard in intergovernmental processes in both regional and global levels. The AP-RCEM was started, and is owned and driven by Civil Society Organizations. It seeks to engage with UN agencies and Member States, and it is designed to reach as many Civil Society Organizations in the region as it can in order to harness the voices of peoples’ movements and advance development justice that addresses issues such as inequalities of wealth, power, and resources, between countries, between the rich and poor, and between people. The AP-RCEM was active in the 2019 ESCAP APFSD People’s Forum, and it is expected to be active in the 2020 Forum as well.  Read more about the AP-RCEM here

5. Upcoming/Past events

To learn more about the meetings please visit https://www.unescap.org/2030-agenda/regional-processes-and-dialogue

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Category: HLPF

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