UN chief calls for efforts to empower disabled persons as part of national MDG plans

16:48, December 04, 2010      

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On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, commemorated here Friday, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon said that countries must take the needs of the disabled into account when planning their work towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"Governments need to do more to support people with disabilities," said Ban. "That means implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. And it means integrating their needs into national Millennium Development Goals agendas."

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which falls on Dec. 3, is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It has been celebrated with varying degrees of success around the planet. Typically, the Day's activities are mounted by volunteers. It was originally called International Day of Disabled Persons.

The theme of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities this year is "Keeping the promise: mainstreaming disability in the MDGs."

The MDGs are a set of eight international development targets that countries around the world have pledged to meet by 2015. The MDG summit, a high-level meeting on the goals, held here during the General Assembly plenary in September, resulted in a written Action Plan that recognized the need to do more to help the disabled as part of the MDG efforts.

"Worldwide, they suffer high rates of unemployment and often lack access to adequate education and healthcare," Ban said of the disabled. "In many societies there are simply no provisions made for this group and they end up living in isolation, disconnected from their own communities."

He said that about 10 percent of the world's population has physical, mental or sensory impairments and that the disabled account for about 20 percent of impoverished people living in developing countries.

"On International Day, let us recognize that the battles against poverty, disease and discrimination will not be won without targeted laws, policies and programs that empower this group," Ban said.

Source: Xinhua


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