New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

UNMISS/Isaac Billy Athletes with disabilities play wheelchair basketball in South Sudan. (file 2012)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Disability inclusion is not only a fundamental human right, it is “central to the promise” of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the annual conference on the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which began on Tuesday.

“When we fight to secure those rights, we move our world closer to upholding the core values and principles of the United Nations Charter”, he explained. “When we remove policies or biases or obstacles to opportunity for persons with disabilities, the whole world benefits”.

To this end, the UN chief said he was launching a new UN Disability Inclusion Strategy on Tuesday, “to raise the standards of the UN’s performance on disability inclusion across the board, and action to bring about the unified and transformative change we need”.

With an accountability framework to monitor progress and address challenges, the new strategy has clear benchmarks, and will encourage more persons with disabilities to work in, and be better supported by, the UN.

“I want the United Nations to be an employer of choice for persons with disabilities”, he stressed. “I want the United Nations to be fully accessible for one and all”.

According to Mr. Guterres: “We can no longer be a platform for change when persons with disabilities cannot access that platform, to speak”.

“Realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is a matter of justice as well as a common-sense investment in our common future”, the UN chief said, but “we have a long way to go in changing mindsets, laws and policies to ensure these rights”.

He urged participants to make the goals and the objectives of the Convention “a reality on the ground”.

Mr. Guterres cited last year’s first-ever UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development, which highlights core challenges, including disproportionate levels of poverty, lack of access to education, health services, employment and the under-representation of persons with disabilities in decision-making and political participation.

Together, we can raise awareness and remove barriers – UN chief

“We must do much more to address discrimination and exclusion, particularly against girls and women with disabilities”, he underscored. “We must also do much more on transportation, infrastructure and information and communications technology to make our cities, rural areas, and societies inclusive”.

“Together, we can raise awareness and remove barriers”, he maintained. “Together, with persons with disabilities as agents of change, we can build an inclusive, accessible and sustainable world”.

“My hope,” he concluded, “is that people with disabilities – particularly women and girls – one day live in a world that protects, respects and values us.”

‘Greater visibility’

Addressing delegates in the General Assembly Hall, Catalina Devandas, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said that despite multiple agendas and competing priorities, “the rights of people with disabilities cannot be marginalized”.

She lauded the new UN Disability Inclusion Strategy to ensure that “people with disabilities are included in all development, human rights and humanitarian aid efforts”.

While calling it “an ambitious and far-reaching proposal that can mean a turning point for the inclusion of people with disability” in all pillars of the UN’s work, she warned that the strategy is “just the starting point of a long process”.

The UN expert called for the Member States to politically and financially support the strategy, flagging it as “a good investment” in strengthening the UN’s capacity to provide “better and greater support to national efforts to realize the rights of people with disabilities.”

“Social gains are only achieved when people fight for them”, she concluded. “It is this tireless fight that now allows people with disabilities to enjoy greater visibility on the international agenda”.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Abu Dhabi is investing $250 million in tech start-ups

Energy: new target of 32% from renewables by 2030 agreed by MEPs and ministers

This German supermarket’s shelves are filled with food other stores won’t sell

Royal Navy to unveil future surveillance and reconnaissance requirements next February in Rome

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year

Draghi: ECB to flood Eurozone and the world with more zero cost money; risk of drowning in cash

DR Congo Ebola centre attacks could force retreat against the deadly disease, warns UN health chief

The Shifting Rhythms of Harmonious China: Ancient, Modern & Eternal

European Semester: The Winter Package explained

This Canadian company transforms plastic waste into building materials

Ensure safety of responders UN Security Council urges, amid worsening DR Congo Ebola outbreak

The final countdown towards achieving 2030 Agenda

How man and machine can work together in the age of AI

Two EU Commissioners fire at will against the US

The why in including palliative care in Universal Health Care

Rapid growth in China post-COVID makes it ripe for investment

‘A new chapter’ dawns for democracy in Guinea-Bissau: top UN official

Coronavirus: ‘An emergency in China, but not yet a global health emergency’

‘Unconscionable’ to kill aid workers, civilians: UN Emergency Coordinator

New rules allow EU consumers to defend their rights collectively

Eritrea sanctions lifted amid growing rapprochement with Ethiopia: Security Council

Malaysia can show the way towards a holistic model for human rights

Coronavirus: Commission proposes a Digital Green Certificate

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

EU-U.S Joint statement on the humanitarian emergency in Tigray

UN rights chief welcomes new text to protect rights of peasants and other rural workers

State aid: Commission approves €790 million Croatian guarantee scheme for companies with export activities affected by coronavirus outbreak

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

Pesticides: MEPs propose blueprint to improve EU approval procedure

Hazy ‘breakthrough’ saves PM May, leaves Ireland in limbo: Brexit

European Junior Enterprises to address the significant skills mismatch in the EU between school and employment

Women in Medicine: An Equality Long Overdue

In a time of rising xenophobia, more important than ever to ratify Genocide Convention

6 ways countries can prepare for the next infectious disease pandemic

After the European Parliament elections – what happens next?

Stateless Rohingya refugee children living in ‘untenable situation’, UNICEF chief

Zero carbon by 2050 is possible. Here is what we need to do

State aid: Commission approves €511 million Italian scheme to compensate commercial rail passenger operators for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

Germany’s fiscal and financial self-destructive policies

Palliative care: an indispensable component for a better quality of life

2014 will bring more European Union for the big guys and less for the weak

Parliament and Council agree drastic cuts to plastic pollution of environment

EU will not deliver on promises without democratic accountability

COP21 Breaking News: Conference of Youth Focuses on Hard Skills to Drive Greater Climate Action

The West – the EU and the US – is writing off Turkey’s Erdogan

These 3 innovative solar farms show why this renewable technology is hot right now

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

Drug laws must be amended to ‘combat racial discrimination’, UN experts say

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

London is becoming the world’s first National Park City

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

Voices of Afghan women ‘must be heard at the table in the peace process and beyond’ UN deputy chief tells Security Council

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

Afghanistan: UN mission condemns deadly attack near Kabul airport

Detecting online child sexual abuse requires strong safeguards

Doctors without borders

This powerful tool will help corporates make the switch to 100% renewables

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

Helping small businesses fight cybercrime benefits the global ecosystem

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s