APEC delegates from 21 countries unanimously recommended the adoption of the Group of Friends on Disability as a mechanism to include disability within the APEC agenda, during the Second Senior Officials’ Meeting on ECHOTECH held at the Crown Regency Boracay Island on May 18, 2015. The Chinese delegation presented the concept paper on the adoption of Group of Friends on Disability in line with this year’s APEC Theme on “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World” in which envisions persons with disabilities as active participants and contributors in their respective economies. The representatives from the United States of America, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Australia were among the countries who gave expressions of support and mentioned the rights of persons with disabilities to decent work and education as stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Persons with Disabilities from China and the Philippines were present during the historic presentation made by Mr. You Liang, one of the members of UN-CRPD Committee and officer of the China Disabled Persons Federation. The Philippine Representative acknowledge the initiatives of NCDA led by its Executive Director, for the Philippine contribution in this initiatives and being one of the founding members of the Group of Friends.

The recommendation will be a part of the agenda of Senior Officials Meeting on May 21 at Shangrila Boracay.