GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization is to play an active role in the implementation of a new trust fund established recently by six United Nations agencies to promote disability rights and help countries improve policies, data-gathering and service delivery to persons with disabilities.
The trust fund was established to expand UN-system action on behalf of people with disabilities, who are estimated to number more than one billion people, or about 15 percent of the world population, according to the World Report on Disability issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.
The “UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Trust Fund” (UNPRPD) is being launched by six UN entities with strong expertise in the promotion and protection of disability rights: the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Labour Organization (ILO); and the World Health Organization (WHO).
As a member of both the Policy Board and Management Committee of the UNPRPD, the ILO will take part in the review of the proposals for funding support at global and national levels. The first call for proposals is expected to be made in April of this year. ILO proposals should be made in collaboration with the UNDP Resident Coordinator, taking account of the UNDG Guidance Note for UNCTs and implementing partners including the rights of persons with disabilities in United Nations programming at country level.
The UNPRPD Trust Fund is administered by the UNDP Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office). To date, a $2 million contribution has been made to the Fund by the Government of Australia, with further contributions expected from the Governments of Finland, the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil and several other governments. The first call for proposals for global and country-level projects to be funded by the UNPRPD is likely to be issued in April 2012. The official launch of UNPRPD in New York on 8 December 2011 was co-hosted by Ambassador Gary Quinlan of Australia and UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan.
The UNPRPD aims to facilitate dialogue between governments and organizations representing people with disabilities to boost national action to address discrimination and marginalization. This is in line with the internationally-agreed UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which also seeks to advance international cooperation on these issues.
This Partnership provides an excellent opportunity for ILO to build on work already achieved through the Inter-Agency Support Group for the CRPD, and to collaborate with other UN agencies at global and country levels to promote the right to decent work of people with disabilities.