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Ban: People With Disabilities Must Play Key Role

People With Disabilities Must Play Key Role In Development, Says Ban

Marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that those with disabilities – the vast majority of whom live in poor countries – have a fundamental role to play in development processes.

The Day falls a week before the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and both occasions are being commemorated with the theme, “Dignity and justice for all of us.”

Mr. Ban pointed out that the General Assembly has underscored the need to include people with disabilities in efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets, by their 2015 deadline.

“With 80 per cent of persons with disabilities – more than 400 million people – living in poor countries, we need to do much more to break the cycle of poverty and disability,” he said.

Noting that the international disability community’s slogan is “Nothing about us without us,” the Secretary-General called on governments and others to guarantee that persons with disabilities are an integral part of all development processes.

“In this way, we can promote integration and pave the way for a better future for all people in society,” he said.

Mr. Ban stressed that there is much to celebrate this year, with the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in May.

The first Conference of the Parties to the pact met in October, and the resulting progress is due to the “active participation and leadership of persons with disabilities, by ensure that they have access to – and are included in – all aspects of our work.”

ENDS

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