Kenya's UN envoy leads global drive for disability rights - Daily Nation

Kenya's UN envoy Macharia Kamau leads global drive for disability rights

Tuesday June 10 2014

Kenya's ambassador to the UN Macharia Kamau. Photo | FILE.

Kenya's ambassador to the UN Macharia Kamau. Photo | FILE. 

By KEVIN J. KELLEY
More by this Author

Kenya's United Nations envoy Macharia Kamau is leading a global effort in New York to promote the rights of people living with disabilities.

Ambassador Kamau will chair a three-day meeting at the UN headquarters on June 10-12.

As president of the conference of countries that have ratified a disability rights accord, he will moderate conversation on issues affecting one billion disabled people worldwide.

At a news conference on Monday, the envoy said a key objective is to “ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of development.”

The conference of 158 States that are parties to the disability-rights agreement will also consider the special situation of young disabled persons whom the ambassador described as “the marginalised of the marginalised.”

POLITICAL WILL

In an interview with Nation.co.ke on Sunday, Ambassador Kamau said Kenya has made some progress in addressing the needs of its disabled citizens.

However, in many developing countries, he added, progress is slowed by lack of political will and inadequate resources.

“In some of our countries the condition of people with physical, mental or emotional disabilities is deplorable,” Mr Kamau told reporters at the UN on Monday.

He noted that in poor nations, disabilities often result not from physical injury but from the effects of poverty, such as nutritional deficiencies and unhealthy air quality in homes.

Ambassador Kamau was elected last year as head of the disability rights conference.

He also serves as president of the Unicef board of directors and co-chair of a UN group working to formulate a global development agenda for the years following completion of the Millennium Development Goals effort in 2015.