PN President Arão Noé de Jesus da Costa Amaral said the vote would ensure the government "prioritises" the rights and needs of the disabled. (Image/Flickr- zeevveez CC by 2.0)

DILI, 01 October 2019 (TATOLI) – The National Parliament (NP) has voted unanimously to recommend parliament take “further measures” to protect people with disabilities – but stopped short of pressuring the government to ratify a global agreement on the issue.

The PN voted 39 to 0 in favour of the resolution.

NP President, Arão Noé de Jesus da Costa Amaral, said he appreciates the support of the parliament, although it is yet to approve ratifying the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

“We approved [this measure] so that the government will prioritize” disability rights, Mr Noe said at Tuesday’s session.

The opposition’s CNRT Deputy, Maria Barreto, said she expects the government to consider whole recommendation and able to ratify the UN Convention.

“The most important substance of the resolution [is to] accelerate the ratification of the convention. We only have one disability clinic located in Laklubar, [and] we don’t have any special hospitals for people with a disability,” Maria Barreto told TATOLI after the vote.

She said parliament’s Commission F – which deals with Health, Social Security, Gender Equality issues – would monitor the government’s implementation of the resolution.

“In 2015, the NP has released one resolution, so the resolution is to reinforce the program implementation and benefit people with disability,” said Ms Barreto, who is President of Commission F.

PLP party deputy leader, Abel Pires, said the resolution is very relevant, and he expects the government will implement it fully.

FRETILIN Party Deputy, Fabião de Oliveira, said he supported the resolution because he said it’s important to look after people living with a disability.

“[We] need to give them good treatment, because some of them were part of Timor-Leste’s struggle for independence,” said Mr Oliveira, saying many drove cars to support the resistance movement.

PD Party Deputy, Mariano Assanami Sabino, said he wanted to see the resolution properly implemented.

“We Timorese like to make promises, therefore it’s possible [we] can implement it. There’s support for [it], but the government must put the program [into practice],” he said.

First published in Tetum as: PN Aprova Rezolusaun Medida Protesaun ba Ema ho Defisiénsia ho Unanimidade

Related news: PM to ADB: focus on Education, Sanitation

Journalist: Evaristo Soares Martins

Editors: Xisto Freitas; Robert Baird

Translation: Nelia Borges


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