Community Development and Social Services Minister, Honorable Doreen Mwamba, M.P led the Zambian delegation to the 16th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
During the General Debate session held in the General Assembly Hall, Hon. Mwamba reaffirmed the Zambian Government commitment to the advancement of rights of persons with disabilities through the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
She said the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities is critical for progressive implementation and delivery of policies, laws and administrative measures that guide governments’ decisions towards an economic, sustainable, and inclusive development agenda.
The Hon. Minister said the Government seeks to enable communities, systems, and structures to combat discrimination and promote effective participation of all persons with disabilities.
She added that the Zambian Government had embarked on economic empowerment and entrepreneurship by decentralising administration of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) down to the community level to benefit youths, women, and persons with disabilities through cooperatives.
The Hon. Minister said despite the strides made so far, Zambia continued to grapple with provision of affordable, assistive technologies that were critical to the effective inclusion and full participation of persons with disabilities.
Meanwhile, on 14th June 2023, Hon. Mwamba held bilateral meetings with Honorable Baindu Dassama Kamara, Minister of Social Welfare of the Republic of Sierra Leone on the margins of the conference. She also held a bilateral talk with Honorable Amanda Rushworth, the Minister of Social Services of Australia.
The discussions in the bilateral meetings focused on matters of mutual interest affecting the countries. They also discussed issues to do with persons with disabilities, social protection Systems, killings of albinos, human trafficking, among others. The parties also discussed how they can cooperate on certain projects.
Hon. Mwamba and her delegation also attended high-level side events that were held on the margins of the conference that closed on 15th June 2023.
The Hon. Minister was accompanied to the conference by Mr. Moses Luneta, the board chairperson at Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), Ms. Agatha Banda, acting Director General at ZAPD and Ministry officials.