The Department of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) in South Africa has taken a proactive step by convening a virtual meeting with technical experts to discuss the formation of a Disability Forum within the BRICS alliance. This initiative is aimed at fostering disability inclusion as a core element across BRICS member nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
The proposed Disability Forum holds a pivotal objective: to advocate for the integration of disability inclusion throughout the key priority areas, policies, frameworks, agreements, programs, and activities within the BRICS collective. DWYPD emphasized, “The envisioned forum seeks to serve as a platform for the exchange of invaluable practices, research insights, and knowledge pertinent to disability issues. Furthermore, it will enable BRICS members to collaboratively address significant concerns related to empowering individuals with disabilities, with a particular focus on women and young persons living with disabilities.”
Moreover, the BRICS Disability Forum strives to expedite the realization of commitments, principles, goals, and actions outlined in international instruments regarding disability inclusion and rights. This includes adherence to pivotal documents such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the UN Agenda 2030, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities serves as a guiding beacon, emphasizing the promotion, safeguarding, and guarantee of the complete and equitable enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, it underlines the imperative to uphold their inherent dignity.
As South Africa’s tenure as the BRICS Chair concludes on December 31, 2023, the nation is dedicated to championing this critical initiative. The Russian Federation is set to take over the BRICS leadership on January 1, 2024.
This visionary approach reflects South Africa’s commitment to advocate for the rights and inclusion of individuals with disabilities, not only within the nation but also across the global community. By spearheading the formation of a Disability Forum within BRICS, South Africa is taking significant strides toward fostering collaboration, sharing expertise, and ensuring the elevation of disability-related discourse at an international level.
The establishment of this forum holds the promise of fostering a conducive environment for constructive dialogue, pooling expertise, and devising actionable strategies to address challenges faced by persons with disabilities. It is poised to serve as a cornerstone for the implementation of inclusive policies and practices within the BRICS nations, creating a more equitable and accessible world for all.
South Africa recognizes the significance of this forum in ensuring that the voices and concerns of individuals with disabilities, especially women and young people, are amplified and integrated into the decision-making processes on a global scale. As the torchbearer of this initiative, South Africa aims to set an exemplary precedent for global collaboration and commitment towards the advancement of disability rights and inclusion.
By leveraging this platform, BRICS member nations can collectively work towards the realization of a more inclusive, equitable, and rights-based society, thereby reaffirming their dedication to upholding the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of disability status. This proactive stance is not only commendable but also aligns with the overarching goal of fostering a more inclusive and compassionate world.
In conclusion, South Africa’s endeavor to convene a BRICS Disability Forum underscores the nation’s unwavering commitment to championing the rights and empowerment of persons with disabilities. It signifies a pivotal step towards ensuring that disability inclusion remains a top priority within the global agenda, fostering collaboration, and accelerating progress towards a more inclusive future for all individuals.