Regional Disability Conference Gets Underway In Samoa

150 members from 20 countries to discuss building an equitable, inclusive Pacific

By Seia Soloi

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Feb. 21, 2017) – Nuanua O Le Alofa (N.O.L.A.) Samoa, is hosting the 5th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability where more than 150 members, from about 20 Pacific countries and territories, are participating in this important, week-long event.

At the T.A.T.T.E. building yesterday morning, the guest speaker was the Minister of Women and Social Development, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers who greeted the participants. 

“I would like to welcome you to Samoa, and we are grateful for the opportunity that has been given by the Committee to host this event, to recognize the potential of people with disabilities and organizations.”

The theme for this year’s conference, “Building a more Inclusive and Equitable Pacific for all Persons with Disabilities” will promote and facilitate regional cooperation on disability-related concerns for the benefit of persons with disabilities, their families and organizations in the Pacific,  principal stakeholders and national organizations of persons with disabilities, and through them the people they represent.

As of this year, the hosting Organization is Nuanua O Le Alofa in Apia, Samoa,  in partnership with the Government of Australia, through the Department of Foreign, Affairs and Trade (D.F.A.T.), Ministry of Women and Social Development, and other organizations such as SENESE and Loto Taumafai have put together this conference for the benefit of people with disabilities in the Pacific Region.

The objectives of this conference has been divided into two divisions: - the Youth Forum, and the Women’s Forum. 

The Regional Meeting will then discuss effective, relevant and culturally appropriate strategies of building an inclusive and equitable Pacific for persons with disabilities that are in alignment with appropriate international and regional frameworks.

Pacific Regional Disabilities C.E.O., Mr. Setareki Macanawaui said “We, persons with disabilities in the Pacific, are truly thankful for our leaders, the Specialist Subcommittee under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, and officials of the Pacific Forum for supporting every aspect of every year’s conference for the good of people with disabilities in the Pacific Region.”

The Meeting opens doors for various development actors and partners, Government representatives and members of the Pacific to attend. There are also guest speakers for each objective throughout the Conference this whole week.

The 5th Pacific Regional Conference on Disability  is expected to  close on Friday this week.

Samoa Observer
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