RI Global From the Field: Ban Ki-moon Meets Zhang Haidi, Incoming President

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RI Global: Office of Communications

Contact: Adrian Brune, +1 347-759-9501

During a trip to promote UN-China relations, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke at China’s Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Beijing on 7 July, where he urged 28 remaining Member States to ratify the Convention without further delay.

Ban praised China for its positive contribution to putting the UN Convention into practice by lifting a huge number of people with disabilities out of poverty and creating a more tolerant society for them. “This is a matter of basic human dignity and solidarity,” Mr. Ban stressed of the CRPD.

Ban Ki-moon-CRPD China

“Human rights, including social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights, are all for people in all countries at all times, without discrimination of any kind,” he said during a speech at the Great Hall of the People.

Zhang Haidi, chairwoman of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF) and incoming Rehabilitation International President, advocated for further advancement and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Sustainable Development Goals and other international initiatives so that “they may get the chance to enjoy an equal, harmonious and happy” life. Ban applauded and shook Zhang’s hands when she exited the stage.

Ki-moon-CRPD China

Wang Yong, state councilor and director of the State Council’s working committee for persons with disabilities, gave the keynote speech in which he emphasized China’s commitment to promoting the disability cause. “China is the initiator and advocate of the Convention, and has been fulfilling its responsibilities and duties over the past ten years,” Wang said, according to the CDPF

“China will continue to improve public service ability for people with disabilities, and enhance international cooperation to help the disabled around the world live a better life.”

Official statistics suggest that 85 million people with disabilities live in China. During its five-year plan, the Chinese government had brought 5.88 million people with disabilities in villages out of poverty, while giving basic living allowances to more than 10 million and offering employment to 20.3 million in towns and villages.

Established in March 1988, the CDPF performs three key functions: to represent the common interests and safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities; to provide comprehensive services to persons with disabilities; and, as commissioned by the central government, to supervise the administration of disability-related affairs. Zhang became the chairperson of the CDPF in 2008 and was re-elected to that post in 2013. Last fall, the RI Global Executive Committee chose her to serve as its next President for a four-year term.

 

RI Global: Founded in 1922, Rehabilitation International (RI Global) is a worldwide network promoting the rights and inclusions of persons with disabilities (PwDs) through advocacy, habilitation and rehabilitation to achieve an inclusive world in which all people can enjoy full human rights.

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