Development and human rights for all

Statement by H.R.H. Prince Raad bin Zeid

Commemorative event: Entry into Force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol, New York, 12 May 2008

Your Highnesses,

Your Excellencies,

Friends and Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour and privilege for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and for me personally to be part of this momentous event at this significant juncture in the history of the disability movement.
This is the moment, where at long last, we are able to reap the full benefit of a long journey of sweat and toil for thousands of men and women in all the corners of our crowded globe.
Today, with great joy we celebrate with our sisters and brothers from all the continents, regions, cultures and economic backgrounds, the end of an era of humiliation, discrimination, hardships, maltreatment and torture.

Distinguished Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In my mind there is no greater triumph for persons with disabilities that would restore to them equality, harmony and self esteem and influence policies and priorities more than the enforcement and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The influence of this giant step on the life of individuals, families, organizations, communities, and societies in all its facets, will have far reaching implications for many generations to come.
It is our commitment to reshape our attitudes and our environment to suit the needs of everyone.  All people with disabilities are entitled to their rights, and to the genuine support and empowerment necessary for their effective implementation. 
From today onwards, difference will not be a basis for exclusion.  Everyone is equal and governments all over the world are expected to recognize and accept disability as part the human diversity.

Distinguished  Participants,

Jordan’s commitment to the principles embodied in the UN Charter, to the promotion of human dignity, the enhancement of security and the protection of individual’s rights is what brought us here today.
Together we will work for a better world for all; to create a society with institutions to suit and accommodate all its people; enabling them to be free of barriers, biases, and discrimination.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the 650 million persons with disabilities around the world, and the international community on bringing this Convention into force in a record time.  Allow me from this forum to also call on the rest of the signatories to expedite the process of ratification.
Today we feel that we are partners in every corner of the globe, united, with the common stance of our hopes and visions; people who have witnessed the fruits of working together towards a global cause.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of all persons with disabilities, I would like to thank the drafting committee under the astute leadership of both Ambassador Luis Gallegos and Ambassador Don Mckay.  I would also like to thank DESA for their tireless effort as the Secretariat of the Committee, and last but not least, the organizations of persons with disabilities for their tireless efforts and unprecedented commitment and perseverance.
I am certain that most of what we have achieved, and aspire to achieve, would not have been possible without the cooperative spirit and determination which characterized the work of the disability movement throughout the last 200 years.
Finally, allow me to thank the leadership of Their Majesties, King Abdulla II and Queen Rania, who tirelessly work on elevating human rights issues to the forefront of our national agenda.  I would also like to extend my appreciation to the government and members of the Jordanian civil society for their determined efforts in developing this global instrument. 
Congratulations to all the signatories to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The Convention today is finally launched; let us now empower those words of wisdom, good will and understanding in support of the Convention into meaningful enterprises, tangible visions, and doable strategies dedicated to the service of persons with disabilities the world over.
With the sincere hope that in the coming decade persons with disabilities everywhere will find a more friendly, more accessible and more peaceful world, God willing.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

Message from H.R.H. Prince Raad bin Zeid [WORD]