|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, at Children’s Rehabilitation Centre in Moscow, Urges
Russian Federation to Ratify Convention on People with Disabilities
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks during his visit to the Children’s Physical Rehabilitation Centre in Moscow, today, 21 April:
It’s a great pleasure for me to visit this children’s rehabilitation centre as the first schedule on my visit to Russia. The children at this centre deserve our full attention, care and support. Teachers and supporters of this centre, particularly [Centre President] Ms. [Anna] Bitova, deserve our full support and praise.
People living with disabilities, particularly children with disabilities, are a global problem. About 10 per cent of the world’s people live with disabilities — whether it is physical, emotional or sensory. In Russia, there are more than half a million people who live with disabilities.
The United Nations, particularly led by UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), are working very hard to help these people with disabilities so that they can integrate themselves into social life. Children with disabilities face a lot of problems, stigma and discrimination and isolation.
The United Nations has adopted a Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I commend the Russian Government, which has signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I would like to urge the Russian Government to ratify it as soon as possible so that they can join the international community — there are more than 99 countries which have ratified this Convention.
This is part of a very important policy for inclusive development. I’d like to highly commend the leadership and vision of President Dmitry Medvedev, who spoke recently at the Boao Forum for Asia about this inclusive development. President Medvedev said no one should be left alone when it comes to development. I’d like to ask President Medvedev to continue this inclusive development.
And I am very encouraged by President Medvedev’s policy saying that he will make the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games a model case for access for people with disabilities. As Secretary-General of the United Nations, working with people with disabilities is a very important part of our inclusive development.
I’d like to thank Ms. Bitova and also the UNICEF Office in Moscow for their hard work, for their contribution.
Let us work hard together to make this a world where all the children, whether they are living with disabilities or not, can live freely as members of our community together.
* *** *For information media • not an official record