GENEVA / WAM
UAE has stressed the need to pay more attention to the people with disabilities in emergency situations, and to seek appropriate conditions for them so that they get the right and timely care and safety.
This came in a statement delivered by Reem Ibrahim Al Mannai, of the UAE Permanent Mission to the United Nations office in Geneva before the thirty-first regular session of the Human Rights Council’s annual interactive discussion on the human rights of persons with disabilities.
The statement referred to the importance of Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which defines and strengthens the states’ obligations under the international humanitarian law to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including armed conflicts, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.
It said that the adoption of approach based on human rights to activate
Article 11 “is a new innovation that would boost the concepts of humanity to the level of the mandatory principles to ensure implementation of the Article 11, which contributes significantly to the protection of persons with disabilities and provides appropriate ground either legislatively or institutionally.”
The statement stressed the importance of setting up a department that can be in charge in the event of an emergency to ensure effective coordination, participation and consultation with persons with disabilities, and their representative organisations as well as mobilise adequate resources in a timely manner so as to allow access for people with disabilities whenever necessary.
With respect to the UAE’s dealing with the Article 11, the statement pointed out that the activation of the article is subject to several local and federal institutions in the country, most notably, the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority. They ensure the protection of persons with disabilities in the event of emergencies and other disasters including, but not limited to registration of persons with disabilities, and to identify their places of residence in each emirate and keep their records in the local offices of the authority in order to reach their places of residency easily.
These bodies also make the use modern technology accessible to facilitate communication and coordination between the emergency medical and ambulance services so as to move quickly to provide aid and assistance needed by the persons with disabilities.