Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE)

To realize several articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) related to the provision of Assistive Technology; specifically article 32 – International cooperation on Assistive Technology, WHO is in process of developing a Flagship Programme – Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) in partnership with the Assistive Technology (AT) stakeholders representing member states, international organizations, donor agencies, professional organizations, academia, industries, and consumer groups. GATE has only one Goal: Improve access to high-quality affordable assistive products.IMG-20151101-WA0018 GATE initiative has only one goal – to improve access to high-quality affordable Assistive Products, responding to the call to increase access to essential, high-quality, safe, effective and affordable medical products, one of the six WHO leadership priorities.

Core functions of the GATE initiative are as follows:

  1. Engaging in partnerships to promote Assistive Technology (AT) and providing leadership;
  2. Stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge related to AT;
  3. Articulating ethical and evidence-based Policies/Norms/Guidelines/Best practices through an impartial global knowledge hub;
  4. Setting policy, norms and standards and promoting and monitoring their implementation;
  5. Shaping the AT research agenda and promoting research initiatives;
  6. Encouraging innovation in developing high-quality affordable Assistive Products;
  7. Providing technical support, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity within the field of AT.

 

ASEM High-Level Meeting on Disability & Global Conference on Assistive Devices and TechnologyGate 03At noon of October 29, 2015, Premier Li Keqiang and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-Level Meeting on Disability and Global Conference on Assistive Devices and Technology at the Great Hall of the People.

The Premier and the Chancellor first visited the assistive devices exhibition in the accessibility experience center and had warm communications with on-site representatives.

Li Keqiang expressed in his address that at the 10th ASEM Summit held in Milan, Italy last year, I proposed on behalf of the Chinese government to incorporate cooperation regarding people with disabilities into the Asia-Europe Cooperation Framework (AECF). I am very glad that by now the relevant cooperation has scored substantial achievements, which will provide beneficial support for promoting social development, advancing guarantee of human rights and stimulating economic growth in the ASEM member countries.

Li Keqiang pointed out that the development of the cause concerning people with disabilities is an important indication of improvement of people’s living standards, progress of the human rights cause and level of social civilization. The Chinese government pays great attention to affairs regarding people with disabilities and is working together with other countries to implement the content about the development of the cause concerning people with disabilities in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. After decades of unremitting efforts, we have paved a sustainable development path in the cause concerning people with disabilities which not only embodies international advanced ideas but also conforms to China’s national conditions. To build a well-off society in all aspects by 2020, China needs to further improve the guarantee system for rights and interests of the disabled as well as public service system for these people, increase supply of public products and public services significantly, help people with disabilities to have their share of achievements in economic and social development and never let the disabled “left behind”.

Li Keqiang stressed that the services industry for disabled people, represented by assistive devices, not only possesses both economic and social benefits and carries scientific and technological innovations as well as humanistic care but also enjoys broad development prospects. It is hoped that German enterprises will give full play to their own advantages, expand cooperation with Chinese enterprises to promote the quality and upgrading of the “Made in China” strategy and “Made in Germany” strategy, and enhance cooperation in the cause concerning people with disabilities in Asian and European countries so as to contribute more to the sustainable development which is more fair, inclusive and beneficial to every individual.

Angela Merkel expressed that inclusiveness is the core concept of the cause concerning people with disabilities. Cooperation regarding the disabled within the framework of the ASEM has opened up new areas for Germany-China cooperation with broad prospects. Germany is willing to work with China to strengthen communication and mutual reference in cause concerning people with disabilities and explore new modes of cooperation, and to help China in its continuous development of the cause concerning people with disabilities and building a well-off society in an all-round way.

More than 400 people attended the meeting, including people from the two countries, relevant international organizations, other Asian and European countries and the business circle as well as representatives of people with disabilities.

State Councilor Wang Yong was present at the event.

How Shall We Proceed with ASEM Disability Cooperation?

To follow up the initiative of Premier Li, CDPF along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, would like to host the ASEM Disability Cooperation Event on 29-30 October in Beijing with the theme of “Break Barriers for Inclusive Development”. The core of the Event is the ASEM High-Level Meeting on Disability, which is supposed to have four agenda items: 1. Opportunities and Challenges—Current Status of Work on Disability in ASEM Countries; 2. Enhancing Pragmatic Cooperation—Best Practice Sharing; 3. Assistive Devices & Technologies—a Starting Point of ASEM Cooperation on Disability; 4. Towards Inclusive Development—Vocational Training and Employment for Persons with Disabilities. The Meeting will be followed by a proposed Global Conference on Assistive Devices & Technologies, composed of High-level Opening, Dialogue with Entrepreneurs and Experts Meeting on Assistive Technology, and is open to all including ASEM members, which can be called “ASEM plus”. As for future cooperation, CDPF has proposed three highlighted areas, which are: a) Policy Dialogues; b) Sharing of Methodologies and Experiences; and c) Technical and Industrial Exchange. A roadmap for future steps will be discussed during the meeting. We would appreciate any comments and suggestions you might have. Through such cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect, we hope to achieve the goal of promoting the common development of work on disability and protection of human rights of persons with disabilities in both Asia and Europe.

Gate 02Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) visit an exhibition before attending the opening ceremony of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Meeting on Disability & Global Conference on Assistive Devices and Technology, in Beijing, capital of China, Oct 29, 2015. [Xinhua/Li Tao]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) visit an exhibition before attending the opening ceremony of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Meeting on Disability & Global Conference on Assistive Devices and Technology, in Beijing, capital of China, Oct 29, 2015. [Xinhua/Li Tao]

Gate 04Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong attends the opening ceremony of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Meeting on Disability & Global Conference on Assistive Devices and Technology, in Beijing, capital of China, Oct 29, 2015. [Xinhua/Rao Aimin]

IMG-20151101-WA0017Maryam Mallick attended the conference as a Representative of WHO ,all the way from Pakistan to present Pakistan’s initiative of taking the Assistive Technology Resolution at the World  Health Assembly 2017

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