CARICOM has appointed a Special Rap-porteur on Disability.
A release from CARICOM said that the Thirty-Fifth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) – Health, in September 2018, endorsed the recommendation that Senator Dr. Floyd Morris be appointed to the position, and “urged Ministries of Health to facilitate the Special Rapporteur in the conduct of his duties at the national level”.
The release said that Dr. Morris is currently the Director of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Centre for Disability Studies, in Mona, Jamaica. The CARICOM Special Rapporteur holds a PhD in Government with special focus on Political Communication, and has done extensive research on persons with disabilities in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
The release said that in December 2013, in response to a mandate from the Conference of Heads of Government, the CARICOM Secretariat, in collaboration with Haiti, convened a high level meeting to examine the situation with regard to people with disabilities and to chart the way forward for an inclusive Region.
Among the results of that meeting was a political document, the Pétion-Ville Declaration, which identified a number of actions for advancing the goal of an inclusive society for persons with disabilities. The appointment of a CARICOM Special Rapporteur on Disability, and regular consultation among representatives of the regional community working in the interest of persons with disabilities.
The CARICOM Special Rapporteur on Disability will monitor and assess the implementation of the Pétion-Ville Declaration, in a bid to advance progress towards a disability inclusive society for all in CARICOM Member States.
In accepting the responsibility, the release said that the CARICOM Special Rapporteur stated his commitment to the “huge task” ahead and pledged to work diligently with the CARICOM Secretariat, governments in the Region and the Advisory Committee to make the Caribbean a more participatory, inclusive and non-discriminatory society for persons with disabilities.
“To whom much is given, much is required and I am prepared to strongly advocate for improvements for my brothers and sisters with disabilities throughout the Caribbean”, he said.