23.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Third High Level Meeting of Mayors for Inclusive Cities

© Chandra ShalehSigning MoU between UNESCO and Pemerintah Kota Banjamarsin on the Social Inclusion of People with Disability

21 September 2013 – Banjarmasin. In collaboration with UNESCO, Banjarmasin City Government hosted the Third High Level Meeting of Mayors for Inclusive Cities. During the meeting UNESCO and Banjarmasin City Government signed a partnership agreement for future collaboration on awareness raising and capacity building regarding the rights of persons with disabilities.

The Third High Level Meeting of Mayors was attended by 270 participants, including representatives of 35 municipalities from Indonesia. Participants discussed the potential of local and regional budgeting in promoting the social inclusion of persons living with disabilities in various sectors such as education, employment and participation in social and political life. Several Mayors and Vice-Mayors from around Indonesia attended the meeting including Ambon, Banjarmasin, Jakarta Barat, Metro (Lampung), Padang, Palembang, Pekanbaru and Samarinda.

The Mayor of Banjarmasin, Bapak H. Muhidin confirmed his willingness to ensure that this process is highly participatory and collaborative and that the appropriate resources are made available.  He has also committed to increase budget for disability in 2014.

Dr. Hubert Gijzen, Director and Representative of UNESCO Office-Jakarta highlighted in his opening speech that UNESCO’s commitment to work together with local and regional governments in Indonesia to promote the implementation of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). He also urged the Mayors to develop local action plans for the implementation of UNCRPD, in line with the National Action Plan for disability “Rencana Aksi Nasional Penyandang Disabilitas”.

The High Level meeting is part of UNESCO’s efforts to support the establishment a “Network of Inclusive Cities”: a coalition of municipalities from across Indonesia who are committed to creating more accessible environments that enable the full participation of persons with disabilities. The First High Level Meeting (Jogjakarta 1-2 April 2013) provided the opportunity for officials to learn in situ about the positive experience of Jogjakarta regarding the drafting of local and regional regulations in line with the UNCRPD. As a result Metro, Banjarmasin and Ambon City Governments have requested technical assistance in order to improve their policies regarding inclusion of people with disabilities.

The Second High Level Meting (Banda Aceh 1-2 July 2013) recognized the importance of inclusive legislation and it acknowledged the need to provide funds to implement legislative measures and strengthen the role of municipalities and regions in budgeting for disability.

The Third High Level Meeting (Banjarmasin 20-21 September 2013), with participation of 35 municipalities concluded with formal commitment from various Mayors to increase budget for disability and improve general public perception of disability.

Please read speech of Dr. Hubert Gijzen, Director and Representative of UNESCO Office Jakarta here

See Dr. Hubert Gijzen’s statement at the High Level Meeting Press Conference on FB at : https://www.facebook.com/unesco.pemuda

For more information contact:
Mr Charaf Ahmimed
Social and Human Sciences
UNESCO Jakarta
Email: c.ahmimed@unesco.org

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