“Through the power of music and the arts, these talented women and men are living examples of our core message: disability is not inability,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a video message, referring to artists from the Beautiful Mind Charity, “4WheelCity” and the Samulnori team who are performing at UN Headquarters in New York.
“Let us work together for a world of opportunity and dignity for all, a future of inclusion, one in which we all gain by leaving no one behind,” he added.
Implementing the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for all persons with disabilities is the main focus of the Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as they meet in New York this week.
Gathering hundreds of disability advocates and government delegates, the 9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD constitutes one of the largest and most diverse international meetings on disability in the world.
The UN is underlining that the annual review of the Convention will examine the implementation of the binding agreement adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006 to reaffirm that the one billion persons with disabilities – 15 per cent of the world’s population – must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
A key input from the European Disability Forum (EDF) was to do with the intersection between gender and disability. "We need to have a greater gender balance in the CRPD committee. Next time we need more women with disabilities," said EDF president Yannis Vardakastanis.
The issue of accessibility to programs for migrant workers with disabilities was also raised: "Programmes exist for persons with disabilities, but migrant workers do not have access".
“There is still much more we can do to fully implement the CRPD and make rights a reality for the more than one billion persons with disabilities around the world,” said the UN Chef de Cabinet, Edmond Mullet, speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General at the opening of the meeting.
“The Conference of States Parties offers a good opportunity to reflect on important lessons and move forward – as your theme puts it – in ‘Implementing the 2030 development agenda for all persons with disabilities: Leaving no one behind,’” he stressed.
Mr. Mullet also highlighted some of the progress made in recent years, such as disability-inclusive strategies being featured in the Sendia Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, while most recently at the World Humanitarian Summit, stakeholders highlighted the importance of furthering humanitarian actions that are responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities.
Source: United Nations
Photo Credits: Masaru Goto/World Bank