Mr. Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative is delivering remarks at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior

Excellency Vong Sauth, Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation

Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen

It is a great honour for me to be here today to join with you to celebrate the 21st National Day of Persons with Disabilities and the 37th International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is also the official launch of the National Disability Strategic Plan (NDSP2) 2019-2023. This important event today is part of UNDP’s continued support to the Government of Cambodia and the disability community to promote disability awareness and to remove negative attitudes and social exclusion toward persons with disabilities.

Over the last five year, Cambodia has made strong progress in pursuit of a disability-inclusive society, where the rights of persons with disabilities are protected and respected by increasing the national budget and providing the right actions that enable persons with disabilities to fully participate and enjoy their rights at their workplace, community and society.

UNDP has been implementing the disability rights programme over the last six years. We are committed to supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia to promote the rights of persons with disabilities through the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the National Law on the Protection and Promotion on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the National Disability Strategic Plan (NDSP) 2019-2023 that is officially launched today. I would like to start by commending to the Royal Government of Cambodia for their success in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in Cambodia.

UNDP Cambodia is committed to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. We also support citizens living with disabilities in our work on demining. Together with government of Australia and Canada we support CMAA and through them give assistance to victims of land mines and ERW.

Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen

This year, the Theme of the International Day of Disabled Persons is to promote the participation and leadership. It focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. It is part of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’. It is critical to ensure, in this regard, the full and equal participation in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been annually observed on 3 December around the world, I am pleased to share the message from the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres quoted:

“On this International Day, I reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations to work with people with disabilities to build a sustainable, inclusive and transformative future in which everyone, including women, men, girls and boys with disabilities, can realize their potential”

Finally, I would like to conclude by congratulating the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, Disability Action Council, government ministries, development partners particularly the Australian Government for their strong support, the disability community and all the participants in this important event for coming together and working together towards advancing disability rights.

I wish Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen the best of luck, happiness, prosperity and success.

Thank you.

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