Protecting the Rights of 1.5bn People Living With Disabilities a “Moral Imperative”, UN Chief

UN Sec Gen

United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres

Protecting the rights of about 1.5 billion people living with disabilities around the world is a “moral imperative”, Secretary-General Antonio Guteres, tells UN members States.

Guterres, who stated this while addressing a conference of signatories to the Convention at UN Headquarters in New York, noted that about a quarter of the world’s population has one form of disability or the other.

“We cannot afford to ignore or marginalise the contributions of 1.5 billion people,” he stated, pointing out that more had to be done for people with disabilities to fully participate in society.

He described convention as one of the most widely-ratified international human rights treaties, which reaffirms that people with disabilities are entitled to the same treatment as everybody else.

“But signing and ratifying the Convention is not enough. Implementation is essential,” Guterres said adding: “Societies must be organized so that all people, including those with disabilities, can exercise their rights freely.”

Guterres underscored that countries applied the Convention to their development policies, investments and legal systems, saying it is an important step “if we are to fulfil the central pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.”

He said people with disabilities still often faced overt discrimination, stereotyping and lack of respect for their basic human rights, with women and girls disproportionately affected.

“Every minute, more than 30 women are seriously injured or disabled during childbirth,” the UN chief said adding women and girls with disabilities face multiple barriers to accessing education, health services and jobs.

“Without women’s empowerment and gender equality, millions of women will continue to suffer from double discrimination based on both their gender and their disability,” he said.

The Secretary-General stressed the need for new approaches to work for and with people with disabilities, which include mainstreaming disability in national legislation and development strategies.

Speaking at the event, Colin Allen, Chair of the international Disability Alliance, spotlighted the strength of working collectively to achieve true and meaningful change.

“For the people in this room, and for the more than one billion people we represent, we are building a strong and solid platform that will propel us forward,” Allen said.

Catalina Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities noted that while progress had been made, it is not reaching everyone in the same way.

“Together, we can remove barriers and raise awareness, so that people with disabilities can play a full part in every sphere of society, around the world”, Aguilar said. (NAN)


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Posted by on 13/06/2018. Filed under News, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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