Publication Date



[From Preface] In Asia and the Pacific, the year 2003 is a hallmark for promoting the rights of people with disabilities. It begins the second Asia and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003 to 2012 and implementation of the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action toward an Inclusive, Barrier-Free and Rights-Based Society. Governments from across the region adopted the framework at a high-level meeting in October 2002. The framework, in turn, will guide regional and national disability policies and activities in several priority areas, including training and employment. While the Decade of Disabled Persons and the development of its implementing framework clearly are major achievements, they also point to the strong need to continue promoting the rights and fostering the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life.