The launch ceremony of the Steering Committee on Accessibility (SCA) kicked off at the Headquarters of United Nations in New York on November 28, 2018. At the invitation of Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the President of the General Assembly of the 73rd Session, Rehabilitation International (RI Global) joined the committee as a representative of civil organizations. Chi Junchang of RI Global attended the ceremony on behalf of Chairman Zhang Haidi.
The establishment of the SCA aims to improve the accessibility conditions of the disabled among the United Nations and promote the implementation of some accessibility provisions in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the 2030 Development Agenda.
RI Global’s joining indicates that its contribution to promoting accessibility for the disabled is highly recognized by the international community.
The launch ceremony was hosted by the president of the General Assembly and attended by more than 20 delegates, including representatives from 10 member states, such as China and South Korea, six UN departments, and two civil society organizations, the RI Global and International Disability Alliance.
The president of the General Assembly stressed that the UN should play a leading role in promoting accessibility for the disabled. Representatives expressed their support, with some saying that accessibility should meet the needs of all people with disabilities and not just focus on wheelchair users.
The president of the General Assembly appointed the UN ambassadors from South Korea and Antigua and Barbuda as the SCA’s co-chairs. The SCA will meet monthly, with its current focus on developing a specific action plan, a representative of South Korea said.