United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
December 3, 2022
The United States is firmly committed to promoting and protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons with disabilities in all their diversity. We know that the most durable and lasting solutions to societal challenges arise when governments embrace, respect, and integrate diverse perspectives from all persons. Persons with disabilities are often left out as key policy and decision-makers, and far too often face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.
For the global community to advance prosperity, peace, and security, persons with disabilities must be integral voices in our international discourse. From political participation to development of policies, to accessing voting rights, we must ensure that persons with disabilities are part of the conversation. Given the more than one billion persons living with disabilities globally, widespread inaccessibility leads to enormous and untenable disenfranchisement.
Women and girls with disabilities account for almost one-fifth of the world’s population of women, yet they are far too often excluded from leadership and decision-making. Women and girls with disabilities in particular face discrimination and exclusion, and heighted risk for gender-based violence, especially those facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.
Due to discrimination on the basis of gender and disability, as well as disproportionate physical, social and attitudinal barriers, women and girls with disabilities cannot fully access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. This phenomenon is further exacerbated in conflict settings. Regardless of disability, all women and girls have the right to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare, and to be treated with dignity and respect.
The United States proudly co-chaired the UN’s Accessibility Steering Committee for the 77th General Assembly Session, which is accountable for implementing the UN’s Disability Inclusion Strategy and ensuring that UN spaces are accessible for all: ambassadors and delegates, civil society, and other stakeholders with disabilities. We continue to work with partners on its implementation to ensure that persons with disabilities are integrated across all UN systems. The United States continues to promote language on this issue in UN resolutions and products, including in a recent UNGA Third Committee resolution on disability-inclusive development.
Today we commemorate the extraordinary impact – past, present, and future – of persons with disabilities and promise to continue our work to elevate their voices in the multilateral community. We must embrace, respect, and integrate diverse perspectives from all communities.