NEW YORK – 15 June 2021 – Addressing the UN membership at the general debate of the annual Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities through a video message yesterday, H.E. Hessa Buhumaid, UAE Minister of Community Development, emphasized the importance of mainstreaming a disability perspective into the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the UAE’s commitment to promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities generally.

Minister Buhumaid highlighted the UAE’s national efforts to support persons with disabilities, including the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination and the National Autism Policy, as well the formation of the People of Determination Advisory Council. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, she noted that the UAE ensured the delivery of health, educational, food, and other services to persons with disability, while also ensuring their independent living and inclusion in society. Additionally, she outlined how the UAE has strengthened efforts to care for and empower persons with disabilities. These efforts include improving access to distance education, rehabilitation and support services, and remote diagnosis and early intervention systems.

The conference is held annually to address the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This year, the conference is focusing on the response to and recovery from COVID-19, and specifically on meeting the needs, realizing the rights, and addressing the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on persons with disabilities.