Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan has been appointed as the Chair of the UN Human Rights Council Task Force on Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities.
The President of the Human Rights Council, Coly Seck appointed Khan.
Khan says through the work of the Task Force, Fiji will have a stronger voice in terms of advocating for the rights of persons living with disabilities.
She says it will also strengthen accessibility mechanisms domestically through an effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.
Khan will also work closely with Fiji’s Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation in reaching out to empower persons living with disabilities in Fiji.
Khan will work closely with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Catalina Devandas and experts from the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to promptly enhance the accessibility of the Council’s buildings and meetings to persons living with disabilities.
She will also hold a number of meetings throughout the year to take stock and evaluate the work of the Task Force in building an inclusive and supportive environment for persons with disabilities.
The Task Force was established by the United Nations Human Rights Council through a resolution in 2011.
The role of the Task Force is centered on ensuring accessibility to the Council and to make strategic recommendations on enhancing the Council’s accessibility for persons living with disabilities.
In its first meeting, the Task Force looked at the proposed 2019 work plan which outlines priority areas related to actions to address existing barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in the work of the Council.