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Poland Receives FDR Award On Disabilities

Poland Receives FDR Award On Disabilities At UN Ceremony

New York, Sep 18 2006 6:00PM

Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski accepted the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award for his country’s efforts to improve the lives of persons with disabilities at a ceremony held at the United Nations today.

The award, the first presented since a General Assembly committee successfully negotiated a new convention to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, is granted each year at the UN by the Washington-based World Committee on Disability.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that Poland’s achievements, which include enshrining the rights of persons with disabilities in the country’s Constitution and in the Charter of Disabled Persons, should serve as a model for other States.

Mr. Annan said the presentation of this award, established in FDR’s name, “helps bring much-needed attention to disability issues worldwide and to our common work to improve the lives of disabled people everywhere.”

He noted that the UN has “long fought for the full participation of persons with disabilities,” citing last month’s agreement by Member States on the text of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Once it is adopted by the General Assembly in the coming months, it will launch a new era in efforts to assert and achieve the human rights for persons with disabilities,” he said. “I have urged all Member States to ratify the Convention and ensure its rapid implementation.”

President Kaczynski said he was very satisfied to receive the award on behalf of Poland, and that his country’s struggle for freedom had been accompanied by a commitment to the rights of persons with disabilities. He also pledged that Poland would implement the new UN Convention.

Poland is the ninth UN member nation to be honoured with this award. Previous winners include Jordan, Italy, Ecuador, Thailand, Hungary, Ireland, Canada, and the Republic of Korea.

Ends

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