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UN chief Antonio Guterres calls for inclusion of persons with disabilities in society

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society, including COVID response and recovery, while addressing the countries that are parties to the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UN chief said that aforesaid rights can be fully achieved by tackling injustices, obstacles, and discrimination that the disabled population experiences.

“Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is crucial to fulfilling the core promise of the 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development]: to leave no one behind.”

“In all our actions, our goal is clear: a world in which all persons can enjoy equal opportunities, participate in decision-making and truly benefit from economic, social, political and cultural life,” he said.

The 13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention took place ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, commemorated annually on December 3.

“While I celebrate that there now 182 parties to the convention, the pandemic has made evident that there is still a long way to go in fully understanding the human rights model of disability enshrined in the convention, and therefore in fully implementing its provisions,” said Guterres.

The pandemic is exacerbating these inequalities and producing new threats. In May, Guterres issued a dedicated policy brief on COVID-19 and persons with disabilities, highlighting the pandemic’s disproportionate impact. He called for a pandemic response and recovery to be more disability-inclusive, starting with recognizing and guarding persons with disabilities’ human rights. He further emphasized that securing the rights of persons with disabilities is necessary for upholding the values and principles that underlie the UN.

“We must also ensure that the vision and aspirations of persons with disabilities are included and accounted for in a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world,” he said.

Last year, Guterres launched an UN-wide Disability Inclusion Strategy to bring about lasting and transformative change across the organization and its operations.

Source: Disability Insider

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