By Maryam Garba Hassan
Nigeria has been elected into the United Nations (UN) Committee of Experts on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), in recognition of its commitment to addressing plight of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and involving them in national development endeavors.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja, by the Director Press, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Saghir el Mohammed said the country’s candidate and former President of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Barr. Danladi Basharu, was elected into the 18-member Committee at the just-concluded 7th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held at UN headquarters, New York, from 10-12 June, 2015.
According to the statement, the election which was the high-point of the Conference now places on Nigeria the responsibility of working with other member nations of the committee to guide the global implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of PWDs.
It said leader of Nigeria’s delegation to the Conference and Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Dr. Habiba Lawal, said Nigeria’s candidature stood out due to its enviable records of support and care for the PWDs.
Dr. Lawal, who also praised the efforts of Nigeria’s Mission in New York towards the success of the exercise, commended other African member-countries for their support and encouragement.
According to her, “the election of Nigeria into the prestigious Committee will attract greater international support and technical assistance towards addressing the plight of over 22 Million PWDs in the country.
“It also places an additional burden on Nigeria to ensure the timely passage into law, of the National Disability Bill now before the National Assembly.”
The statement said Nigeria signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and its Optional Protocol in 2008, and subsequently ratified the two instruments in 2010, thereby committing itself to the provisions of the documents.