Minister for International Development, Melissa Parke, today announced the Government’s decision to establish a new Australian Ambassador for Disability-Inclusive Development.
Minister Parke said the ambassador will advocate for people with disability in developing countries to have access to the same opportunities as others and an equal say in the decisions that affect their communities. The appointment process will take place in the coming weeks.
“Australia will be the first country to have an ambassador focused solely on disability-inclusive development. We are demonstrating to the world how central the matter of disability-inclusion is to our international aid efforts,” Minister Parke said.
The ambassador will enhance Australia’s leadership in this area by championing the inclusion of disability within international commitment frameworks, including discussions on the post-2015 development agenda; asking partner governments to do their part in supporting people living with a disability; and ensuring that Australia continues to set a leading example through its aid program.
“As a Minister in the government that has delivered DisabilityCare within Australia, I’m proud that we are also a leading nation when it comes to providing disability-inclusive assistance to developing nations. Ensuring that people with disability are included in, and benefit equally from, Australia’s aid program is a priority for this Government. We will continue to advocate internationally for this cause, especially as a new global development framework is developed.”
People with disability are the world’s largest and most disadvantaged minority, accounting for around 15 per cent of the global population. Collectively, people with disability have poorer health outcomes, lower educational achievements, less economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people without disability.
AusAID’s Development for All strategy aims to ensure people with disability are increasingly taking a central role in decision making, ensuring policies and programs are shaped to better take account of their requirements. The OECD Development Assistance Committee said Australia’s “exceptional emphasis on disability makes it a leader in this area internationally” in its 2013 Peer Review.
The role of the Ambassador for Disability-Inclusive Development is expected to be filled by a Senior Executive in AusAID at First Assistant Director General level. The Government’s candidate for the role will be considered by the Federal Executive Council.