UN General Assembly president calls for disability-inclusive recovery from COVID-19
Publish- December 03, 2020, 10:40 AM
Xinhua/UNB - Xinhua/UNB
UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir on Wednesday called for a disability-inclusive recovery from COVID-19.
"We were not prepared for the onset of the pandemic. However, we can prepare for a thorough, well-planned recovery. In doing so, we have an obligation to ensure that recovering better accounts for the needs of persons living with disabilities," Bozkir told an annual event to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which falls on December 3, reports Xinhua.
As those with disabilities have so clearly stated, "nothing for us, without us," the onus is, therefore, on governments, on the United Nations system and on all stakeholders to ensure that the vulnerable are not only covered, but are a core constituent in the development and execution of recovery programs, he told the event co-hosted by the permanent missions of Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia to the United Nations.
Bozkir emphasized the UN General Assembly's commitment to ensuring accessibility and participation of all stakeholders, inclusive of people with disabilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all people, but not equally. For the more than 1 billion people living with disabilities, the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and marginalized those whose particular needs have not yet been adequately met, he said.
Consider those with dyslexia or diabetes, or those who suffer from mental illnesses, which have seen a dramatic rise during the pandemic. For those living with disabilities, visible or not, daily challenges have become more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Consider access to health care or other support services impacted by social distancing. Consider the ability to buy food and supplies. Consider having to work from home or home-school your children in addition to the challenge of living with a disability, he said.
The theme of this year's International Day of Persons with Disabilities is "Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world."