Dubai to be a disability-friendly city by 2020

Updated 06 October 2015
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Dubai to be a disability-friendly city by 2020

DUBAI: The Executive Council of Dubai announced the launch of the “Dubai Inclusive Development Forum” which will take place at Madinat Jumeirah on Oct. 11 and 12.
The “Dubai Inclusive Development Forum” will be the first of its kind in the Emirate. It is a key move to achieve the aim of the ‘My Community’ initiative in establishing Dubai as a fully inclusive, disability-friendly city by the year 2020.
“We look forward to uncover future plans and steps that will be taken to take full advantage of the opportunities available, and overcome any obstacles that may stand in the way of persons with disabilities,” said Abdullah Al Shaibani, secretary-general of the Executive Council of Dubai and vice chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
He spoke about the Law No. (2) of 2014 on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Emirate of Dubai. The law aims to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy all their rights. It enhances their respect, preserves their dignity and protects them from all forms of discrimination or abuse, as well as highlights their potential abilities in contributing to the development of the community.
The new law envisages cooperation among all authorities concerned in Dubai to provide persons with disabilities health care, rehabilitation services and educational opportunities that are equal to those provided to their peers at all stages, he said.
“My Community… A City for Everyone” initiative aims at providing equal opportunities to everyone in the community, including persons with disabilities. The initiative also strengthens social solidarity, cooperation and inclusive unity to best serve the community, thus eliminating all forms of discrimination or abuse, and eventually turning Dubai into a disability-friendly city that ensures proper nurturing, justice and equal opportunities” said Khaled Al Kamda, director general of the Community Development Authority and member of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“The Dubai Inclusive Development Forum” is a platform for collective cooperation on five strategic pillars upon which the strategy for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities is based, including: social protection, availing public services and utilities, employment, education, health, habilitation and rehabilitation. Hence, the Forum will offer the opportunity to shed light on international experiences in these areas. Additionally, organizing special workshops during the forum will help impart knowledge and discuss these challenges with select international speakers,”added Al Kamda.
“We look forward to promoting our community’s culture, and providing a flexible life with equal opportunity for all persons with a disability. It is our duty to provide proper alternatives to ensure they live their lives and become active in the community like every other person in our society. It is also our duty to eliminate that sense of pity and charity toward persons with disabilities that still exists in some segments of our society and replace it with empowerment and respect for all,” he said.
Dr. Salem Ali Alshafei, director of Policies and Programs, Rights of Persons with Disabilities at The Executive Council of Dubai explained that the “Dubai Inclusive Development Forum” is being held for the first time in Dubai with the participation of select international and local experts, academics and specialists.
The forum will discuss integrating persons with disabilities, in addition to translating the UNCRPD into local laws and policies. The forum’s main objective will be to take practical steps toward successful implementation. The discussions will focus on assessing the current situation in order to integrate persons with disabilities into the community.


War on militants ‘won’t end unless West tackles root causes’

Daesh militants wave flags on their vehicles in a convoy on a road leading to Iraq. (AP)
Updated 15 December 2018
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War on militants ‘won’t end unless West tackles root causes’

  • Driven from lands it once held sway over in Syria and Iraq, Daesh has returned to its origins as an underground militant outfit
  • “Beyond the tactical victories on the ground, the current strategy is failing”

WASHINGTON: Western powers fighting militant groups around the globe are condemned to a never-ending battle if they only tackle the symptoms and not the underlying causes of militant insurgency, experts say.

“Beyond the tactical victories on the ground, the current strategy is failing,” said Katherine Zimmerman, who wrote a recent report for the American Enterprise Institute.

“Every soldier and intelligence analyst that has worked on this problem understands what is happening,” Zimmerman told AFP.

“They understand that what they are doing is a temporary solution. It’s ending the immediate threat but not stabilizing or moving us forward. The problem comes down to policy and politics,” she noted.

“It’s easy to say, ‘We’re going to kill the person responsible for making the bomb.’ It is much more difficult to say that our partner government has disenfranchised this group and it’s one of the reasons why this person joins the terrorist group. And now he is the bomb maker.”

Driven from lands it once held sway over in Syria and Iraq, Daesh has returned to its origins as an underground militant outfit because the conditions that spawned it — a deep discontent among most Iraqis and Syrians — have persisted, experts say.

“The West is on the road to winning all the battles and losing the war,” warned Zimmerman.

In a report last month on the resurgence of Daesh as a clandestine guerrilla group, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said that while the US and allied governments have weakened some groups like Daesh, “many of the underlying causes have not been adequately addressed.”

Those root causes include a “fragile state with weak or ineffective governing institutions” in areas affected by militant activity, where the extremists can establish a sanctuary, the CSIS experts said.

They took maps showing areas where Al-Qaeda and Daesh were active and compared them to maps displaying “government effectiveness,” based on World Bank statistics.

The result was clear: Most of the countries where the insurgents are active — Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia — are also in the bottom 10 percent for government effectiveness.

At a conference this week in Washington, retired Marine Gen. John Allen — who once commanded US forces in Afghanistan and now heads the prestigious Brookings Institution — said the West had to get ahead of the issue and ask, “Where should we be looking for the next problems?”

“We should spend a great deal more time looking at those areas that are in fragile or failing states,” said Allen, who also served as presidential envoy to the international coalition battling Daesh.

“We have to recognize the hotspots where the human condition prompts the radicalization of large sectors of the population,” he added.

“Often we join the conversation when the process of radicalization has been in place for quite a long time.”

Allen noted that the problem is “a development issue, much more than a counter-terrorism issue.”