Recognizing the state of the disabled all over the world the UN declared year ~81 as the International year of the disabled to focus international attention on the situation of its disabled communities and their needs. During this year it was realised that the prevailing conditions of the disabled, globally and especially in the developing countries, had assumed such an alarming enormity that urgent and continuous measures were required to deal with it.
The most important outcome of the International Year of Disabled Persons 1981, was the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General Assembly by its resolution 37/52 and 37/53 of 3 December 1982 on the implementation of the World Programme of Action, in which, inter alia, it proclaimed the period 1983-1992 as the United Nations Decade of disabled Persons. They both emphasized the right of persons, with disabilities to the same opportunities as other citizens and to an equal share in the improvements, in living conditions, resulting from economic and social development.
The Problems of disability in the developing countries were specially highlighted in The World Programme for Action due to the fact that 80% of the disabled persons live in isolated rural areas. In some countries like Pakistan the percentage of the disabled population is as high as 20 and if families are also included 50 percent of the population could be adversely affected by disabilities. The problem is compounded by the fact that disabled people are often very poor. They live in areas where medical and other related services are scarce or even totally absent, and where the disability is not and cannot be detected in time. When they do receive medical attention, if at all the impairment may have become irreversible.
The resources aren\'t sufficient to detect or prevent disability. The problem is further compounded due the population explosion.
At the end of the decade meeting of the experts to review and appraise the achievements of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons recognized that, though there had been considerable progress in the achievements of its goals in developed countries, the progress had been for a second decade to fulfil the goals of the previous decade.
UN was urged by the Asia Pacific region to declare another decade to give fresh impetus to the implementation of the World programme of action concerning disabled persons.
The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP~), at its forty-eighth session, held at Beijing, proclaimed, through its resolution the period \'93 - 2002 as the Asia and Pacific Decade of Disabled persons.
Thirty three governments of the Asia pacific region including Pakistan had co-sponsored this resolution at the 48th session of ECOSOC held at Beijing.
At the 49th session of ECOSOC held at Beijing in April \'93 this resolution was adopted, proclaiming 1993 - 2002 as the Asia Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons Along with the Agenda for Action for the Decade.
The Strategy has the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life of all the people of the region. Within the strategy priority has been assigned to the regions disadvantaged and vulnerable social groups, including persons with disabilities.
The framework of the Agenda contains major policy categories requiring efforts for their implementation, some of which are:-
Accessibility and communication;
Training and employment
Prevention of causes of disabilities
Formation of self help organization
The agenda has been widely circulated for implementation to:
Government Ministries and Departments:
International organizations;, including United Nations agencies and bodies:
Individuals committed to the full participation and equality of people with disabilities in the Asian and pacific region.
3rd December was declared the International Day of the Disabled by UN at the end of decade in \'93 to continue the efforts for the achievement of the goals of equality and full participation as envisaged with World Programme of Action. On this day the people with disability, the world over, focus the attention of the government and communities in which they live to awaken their conscience to fulfil their commitments to the cause of the disabled.
This year, this day coincides with the mid point of the Asia Pacific decade of Disabled 1993- 2002. This is an important land mark for the governments, the communities and the disabled themselves to assess the achievements of this period.
As an advocacy organization for the rights of the disabled we, in the Disabled Peoples International Pakistan and the Karachi Sindh Chapter, are strongly committed to the goals of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the Agenda for Action for Disabled in the Asia Pacific region. Our request for issuance of stamps, to commemorate these two very important days, is a part of the awareness-raising campaigns, which we are continuously engaged in to ensure equalization of opportunities for peoples with disability through legislation and all such measure required for removal of barriers-physical and attitudinal-which impede their participation in the communities in which they live.
(Contributed by Courtesy)
To commemorate the United Nation\'s International Day of the Disabled and the Asia Pacific Decade of Disabled 1993-2002 Pakistan Post office is issuing a Commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 4/-denomination on December 3,1997.