The chief executive of the Pacific Disability Forum says one in five people estimated to be living with some form of disability in the Pacific face many entrenched cultural and physical barriers to full participation.
Setareki Macanawai says at least 16 countries in the region have signed or ratified the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities but he says there is still a lack of action on the ground.
"For people with disabilities to participate, to go to school to be educated to get a job, to be able to put food on the table for their families to be able to get married and to go to church. To participate in our, in political life, in voting. The inclusion of persons with disabilities really, really matters if we were to have a society embraces everyone and leaving no one behind."