War and Peace: Disability Issues

For Immediate Release

10 August 2006

As world leaders work toward restoring peace in Lebanon, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) reminds everyone that armed conflict always leaves a legacy of disablement. "We now have new brothers and sisters with disabilities who will have on-going needs related to their disabilities and the world community must not forget about these people," states Steve Estey, Chairperson of the CCD International Committee.

CCD urges world leaders to make a commitment to assisting those people who acquire disabilities during the current conflict. There are people on both sides of this conflict who are now facing life with disability. Like all people with disabilities, people disabled through warfare require disability-related supports. A disability-related support is any good or service that a person with a disability uses to live independently in the community. In addition, people disabled through armed conflict require access to medical and rehabilitation services. "As people with disabilities we empathize with the challenges that those with new disabilities caused by warfare are facing and we challenge the international community to assist the Middle East self-help organizations of people with disabilities respond to the support needs of those disabled in this conflict," states Marie White Chairperson of CCD.

"As people with disabilities are among the most marginalized in society, resources to meet our needs tend to be in short supply. In an area where there is armed conflict, there needs to be a redoubling of effort on disability issues. Governments, development agencies, and nongovernmental organizations need to increase their support to people with disabilities in the Middle East," states Estey. "People with disabilities in the Middle East are integral members of society and they and their organizations should be included in local, regional and international peace and reconstruction planning processes."

CCD works in solidarity with people from around the world through Disabled Peoples' International, a global disability rights organization. The affects of warfare have been a long-term concern for both organizations. In 1986, CCD adopted DPI's Peace Statement, which was crafted in Hiroshima, Japan. The Peace Statement, which was first released 24 June 1982 at the Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan, declares:

Let all of us join together in a worldwide movement for peace. Let us call for all nations' economies to be transformed from war economies to peace economies. Let us insist that the $600 billion now spent on armaments is diverted to socially useful projects. Let us demand that the world leaders… begin the enormous task of redirecting our resources, our productions, our talents and our abilities from the creation of the weapons of war to the creation of the instruments of life.


For more information contact:

Marie White, CCD Chairperson 709-739-8233
Steve Estey, Chairperson CCD International Development Committee