Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, RI President, Zhang Haidi, has been following closely on how the pandemic is affecting lives of the disabled around the world.
On behalf of RI, Mme. Haidi has conveyed our support to international organizations and called on the international community to prioritize the specific needs of persons with disabilities at this critical moment and take effective and comprehensive measures to guarantee their safety and wellbeing.
In his response, President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Tijani- Muhammad-Bande, expressed his highest appreciation to Mme. Haidi for the support and collaboration in overcoming these challenging times.
In his letter to Mme. Haidi, he expressed his concerns, “We are, indeed, facing an unprecedented threat from the rapidly evolving COVID – 19 pandemic, with far-reaching effects on the health and livelihoods of people. This crisis, unfortunately, threatens to reverse the gains made toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Thus, we must uphold the pledge to leave no one behind and remain steadfast in defeating COVID-19 and achieving the SDGs.”
President Bande assured Mme. Haidi that he will continue to work with, and call on, Member State to take measures to halt the spread of the disease, while mitigating its social and economic impact, particularly on persons with disabilities, who are among those disproportionally affected.
President Bande also extended his appreciation for the determined efforts of RI under the leadership of Mme. Haidi in promoting the disability rights and inclusion amidst the pandemic. As he stated, “ I thank you for the support and commend you for your commitment to matters regarding the protection and advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities.”
Lastly, President Bande expressed his firm belief that with common efforts by international community, the virus will be defeated and the health and livelihoods of persons with disabilities will be safeguarded.