Advancing disability inclusion: Astana Roundtable champions progress

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
workshop in Astana on disability inclusion
UNDRR

Significant strides towards an inclusive future took place in Astana, Kazakhstan on November 14, 2023. 

At AstanaGenPlan, the primary institution steering the city's development, representatives from the city administration, NGOs, and active citizens convened for a roundtable on inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Statistics highlight that there are 32,558 residents in the capital who require special attention.

This event is organized jointly by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the City Hall of Astana, Kazakhstan. It is supported by the UN Disability Task Force in Kazakstan for coordination and by the Government of Finland for financial resources. The roundtable is the continuation of the city’s efforts to build resilience. Discussions of the main issues regarding Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Inclusion were based on the ten resilience principles of a new tool within the Making Cities Resilient 2030 initiative (MCR2030) – the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.

During the discussions, participants identified that people with disabilities, as well as their neighbors, lack training in safe behavior and evacuation procedures. Moreover, the aspect of accessibility within the construction code is often overlooked. 

Mr. Yelnar Bazyken, the Head of the Center of Urbanism of Kazakhstan and the focal point for the MCR2030, emphasized that the many public spaces have been reconstructed to be accessible for all people with reduced mobility. Mr. Bazyken also added, “Instruments of Making Cities Resilient 2030 Initiative have highlighted the weak areas of city resilience, and now we can make great progress for making this city comfortable for all indeed.”

Mr. Manarbek Kulmukan from the City Transportation System confirmed that the bus drivers receive training regularly on transportation specifics and the necessary assistance for people with disabilities. 

The roundtable will be followed by consultations with the relevant state and city authorities. Following the outcomes, the recommendations will be compiled into a list for the city administration and forwarded to the Mayor's Office of Astana. 

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