Statement by H. E. Mr. Taavi Rõivas, Minister of Social Affairs of the Republic of Estonia at the High-level meeting of the General Assembly on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for pers
Round table 2: post-2015 development agenda and inclusive development
for persons with disabilities
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
has a duty to ensure that difficulties related to disability are minimised
through active support for a healthy lifestyle, adequate health care,
rehabilitation, supportive services, communities and environments.
necessary to promote national as well as international cooperation between
governments, local communities, and stakeholders. Cooperation allows us to
learn from the best practices on mainstreaming disability issues and
coordinating activities. This will allow us to ensure protection of the rights
of persons with disabilities, set priorities, and design policies.
I believe that employment is the key for better social
inclusion and for reducing poverty and dependence on social benefits. Let me
give you a brief example from Estonia.
Last year we began to prepare a comprehensive
Disability Insurance Reform, which we hope to launch in stages starting from
2014. I dare to say that this is the most far-reaching reform in Estonian
social policy so far. The problem has been that the current system does not
motivate people who have lost their capacity for work to return to the labour
market. A person’s incapacity for work is emphasized, instead of a person’s
ability to perform other tasks or learn a new profession. As a result of the
reform we will focus more on a person’s capabilities, and develop effective and
efficient measures to bring these people back into the labour market.
has developed rapidly during the past 20 years. Today Estonia
is the country with the highest level of Internet freedom and with possibly the
best e-solutions in the world. Our e-solutions also help people with
disabilities. As an example, a private company can be started online in only
five minutes, voting in parliamentary elections can be done online, recurrent
prescriptions can be renewed online with medication to be picked up in any
pharmacy in the country and the list continues. E-solutions help to reduce
barriers and build a more inclusive society.
equally important issue besides e-society is awareness-raising on disability
issues as a part of human diversity. It is important to promote a paradigm
shift among persons with disabilities, specialists and the general public to
overcome barriers to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in our societies.
but not least I wish to highlight the importance of
ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and
mainstreaming disability issues into national policy-making in all areas. This
provides an important impetus for ensuring the effective implementation and
impact of reforms, strategies, and policies that affect persons with
disabilities. I am pleased to be able to confirm that
Estonia ratified the Convention in May 2012.
for your attention.