Νέα Υόρκη, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013

Ομιλία Αντιπροέδρου της Κυβέρνησης και ΥΠΕΞ Ευ. Βενιζέλου στη Συνάντηση Υψηλού Επιπέδου της Γενικής Συνέλευσης για τους Αναπτυξιακούς Στόχους της Χιλιετίας σχετικά με τα άτομα με αναπηρία (HLMDD)

Mr. President of the General Assembly
Mr. Secretary General
Excellencies,

It is common truth that the synergy and collaboration of the international community constitute the cornerstone, the basis for an action. Today, we have a great opportunity to go a step forward in order to close the “gaps” and fight exclusion and discrimination. This HLMDD gives us the chance to underline and reinforce the existing connection between disability, human rights and development by advancing the mainstreaming of disability in development policies.

The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP), in 2006, was a landmark in the history of the human rights. It is now the moment to ensure that the international community’s commitment for a disability-inclusive development agenda will be translated into action.

In this framework, Greece, despite the financial and economic crisis, strives to find solutions that will help people in need, especially persons with disabilities. My country has already signed and ratified the CRPD and its Optional Protocol and we are working on the implementation of the conventional obligation provided thereof.

We strongly believe that we should ensure the full enjoyment of human rights to all, and in this regard, we are in the process of elaborating our first National Action Plan on human rights, in order to mainstream a human rights and disability-inclusive approach to all our policies.

Acknowledging the serious challenges that persons with disabilities face in times of crisis, the Greek government believes that equal and active participation of persons with disabilities in the economic, social and political life will efficiently restore economic growth.

In this regard, we have created a guide to provide information on their legal rights and benefits regarding every aspect of life in society, as well as a “Handbook of Accessibility Control to public service and infrastructure”. A series of initiatives have been undertaken, in order to remove barriers and facilitate people with disabilities in their everyday life. In addition, any kind of discrimination or harassment to all persons, including people with disabilities is prohibited in the sector of labor and employment.

Since stereotypical perceptions pose a threat to the successful inclusiveness of people with disabilities in society, Greece is looking ahead to the post-2015 development agenda and recognizes the importance of raising awareness in order to fight discrimination.

Despite the existing challenges, the most important being the lack of capacity, including human resources, the post-2015 agenda creates an opportunity to overcome the above limitations by promoting disability-inclusive cooperation and partnership.

This will facilitate capacity-building, via cooperation in research and scientific knowledge, sharing of information as well as the exchange of best practices, aiming at the inclusion of persons with disabilities not only as beneficiaries but also as agents of development.

Last, but not least, I would like to highlight the role and scope of civil society, NGO’s and the private sector, in the achievement off all the above targets. Working together is a precondition for the realization of our commitments and today we have an excellent opportunity to exchange our views and to underline the significance of a more inclusive development agenda, where the rights of persons with disabilities will constitute one of the core elements of the post-2015 agenda, which must be CRPD driven.

Thank you

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