100th anniversary is a remarkable milestone for RI that grew from its small-town roots in the American Midwest in 1922 to an internationally prominent organization in the past century. Generations of successors of RI members have been making consistent efforts to offer expertise and solutions aimed at providing people with disabilities the chance to lead full and productive lives.
A high-level 2 -day International Conference took place in Oslo, Norway on October 13 and 14, to celebrate RI Centennial Anniversary, review the past century and witness the opening of a new era of RI.
In the opening ceremony, Rehabilitation International President, Mme. Zhang Haidi warmly greeted the guests through video message. Mme. Haidi said that this year witnesses the centenary of RI, an important milestone inheriting the past and opening up the future. “Over the past 100 years, RI has been relentlessly striving for human health, integrity of life and rights of persons with disabilities, transcending nation, race and ideology. It has left significant footprints in the history of the international disability movement. What RI has achieved during the past century could not have been possible without contributions and efforts of each and every RI member. We should feel proud of RI and ourselves. Facing the next century, we will keep holding high the torch of humanitarianism, further improve RI’s international influence and continuously work for the wellbeing of the one billion persons with disabilities across the globe.”
Referring to the RI Europe, Mme. Haidi stated: “As an important part of the RI family, the European region has been taking lead in many fields, such as concepts and practices on disability, rehabilitation, education and employment. It also plays an essential role in promoting the development of disability affairs worldwide. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of RI Norway. The organization has been actively participating in and contributing significantly to the work of RI. On behalf of RI Global, I would like to extend warm congratulations to RI Norway and all RI members in the European region. I wish RI Norway and RI European region open up a new chapter in their growth and make even greater contributions to RI Global and the development of international disability affairs.”
In the end, Mme. Haidi invited all guests to attend the grand centennial celebration to be hled in Beijing in 2023.
Among the many events that took place, invited guests were able to see the unveiling of RI history and its work as an important force in advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities globally.
On October 13, the Deputy Mayor of the Oslo City Hall hosted a special reception for the guests attending the event.
The RI Centennial Celebrations will continue all over the world, culminating with the main centennial celebrations that will take place in Beijing, China on May 19-23, 2023.