UN Secretary-General’s message on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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Accra, Dec. 3, GNA – In a statement made available to the Ghana News Agency on Monday to commemorate  International Day of Persons with Disability, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General said this year’s Paralympic Games were a reminder of the immense potential of persons with disabilities to soar and to inspire.

“One girl wrote to a Paralympic gold-medal champion, “Watching as you overcome the difficulties of life, reaching for new victories and new heights in sports, I derive strength and inspiration,” the statement said.

It stated that persons with disabilities had a significant positive impact on society, and their contributions could be even greater if society removed barriers to their participation, adding that with more than one billion persons with disabilities in our world today, this is more important than ever.

It said the United Nations Messenger of Peace, the legendary superstar Stevie Wonder was focusing on this issue, which embodies the spirit of service to others.

According to the statement, Stevie Wonder after playing at a spectacular UN Day concert at the headquarters this year, said: “I haven’t even touched one iota of what I want to do for and through the United Nations to help heal this world.”

It said the challenge was to provide all people with the equality of access they needed and deserved, which would ultimately create a better world for all.

“As negotiators at this year’s “Rio+20” United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development agreed, accessibility is critical to achieve the future we want. Together, we must strive to achieve the goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: to eliminate discrimination and exclusion, and to create societies that value diversity and inclusion”, the statement said.

It reiterated that in order to spur action to bridge the gap between well-meaning commitments and long-overdue actions, the United Nations General Assembly would hold a High-Level meeting on disability and development next year.

It explained that this gathering would take place as the international community worked to forge a post-2015 development agenda, presenting an opportunity to ensure that the rights, concerns and contributions of persons with disabilities were fully taken into account.

“This International Day of Persons with Disabilities marks the official opening of preparations for the High-level Meeting and let us make the most of our commemoration by working to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy their rights and realize their great potential,” the statement said.

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