Talks begin on helping the disabled

Kyodo

A four-day United Nations meeting on economic and social issues in the Asia-Pacific region began here Friday with a focus on measures for the disabled.

Some 400 participants from about 30 nations are participating in the meeting of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, discussing measures to upgrade policies for disabled people and ensure they have equal opportunities to participate in society, organizers said.

At the meeting’s opening, Japanese delegate Issei Anan, parliamentary secretary of the Cabinet Office, read a speech on behalf of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Participants began their discussions in the afternoon.

The meeting will also evaluate progress on policies covering disabled people in the past 10 years, as an action plan dubbed the Asian Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons 1993-2002 expires at the end of this year.

Participants are expected to adopt a new 10-year framework on policies for disabled people.