Statement in a Dialogue with the Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Sofija Korac
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 21, 2019


Thank you, Chair, and thank you to the CRPD Chair. The United States remains committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of all persons with disabilities. We take this opportunity to highlight some of the great work and achievements we have seen on mainstreaming disability rights across the UN’s work, especially in several New York-based efforts.

The United States was proud to negotiate and vote in favor of Security Council 2475 on the situation of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

This groundbreaking resolution is a significant step forward to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities across the UN by bringing the issue here, an area of the UN where we have not done enough on this topic.

We also endorsed the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action this summer. The Charter sets forth a global agenda to make humanitarian actions more receptive to the needs of persons with disabilities.

My Delegation has also been proud to actively participate in two UN driven initiatives that play a critical role in mainstreaming disability rights across the UN’s work: the Group of Friends on Disability and the Accessibility Steering Committee.

Our delegation knows firsthand the challenges of mainstreaming disability rights across the UN system, including physical access here at Headquarters.

To this end, we were pleased to welcome the rollout of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS) and look forward to supporting its implementation across the UN’s policies, programmes and physical access to the UN headquarters.

We are also an active member of the ROK and Antigua and Barbuda Steering Group on Accessibility. The steering group developed recommendations in June 2019 in order to increase accessibility across UN headquarters. We are working to institutionalize this group and look forward to engaging on New Zealand and Mexico’s resolution on persons with disabilities, which focuses on accessibility.

The United States was also pleased to see the accessible seating proposal adopted within the GA revitalization text passed in September – by creating a system to move delegations’ seats to an accessible location, we have already seen firsthand the benefits of this proposal, allowing all members of our delegation to attend all UN meetings in a way that is accessible.

The United States calls on other countries to redouble efforts and join us in continuing the positive work to fully mainstream persons with disabilities across the UN and the international community’s work.

Thank you, Chair.