The UAE reaffirmed its commitment to empowering and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and ensuring their integration into the national development process.

H.E. Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, the UAE Minister of Community Development and head of the UAE delegation to the 12th Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, delivered the UAE statement during the General Debate, sharing the UAE’s successful efforts in upholding the rights of persons with disabilities. 

“The founding father and first President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, had a vision of a dynamic and diverse nation that embraces all people and offered everyone a genuine opportunity to succeed,” Minister Buhumaid shared. “Grounded by his vision and leading with our commitment to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the UAE prioritizes the inclusion of persons with disabilities, focusing on enabling and empowering them to achieve their aspirations and participate fully in society.”

Minister Buhumaid shared recent efforts aimed at improving the quality of life of and addressing challenges faced by persons with disabilities in the UAE. The newly created Higher Committee for the Services of Persons with Disabilities – consisting of persons with disabilities and a group of decision-makers from various entities – is mandated to examine the current challenges faced by persons with disabilities in various fields and identify solutions to ensure the comprehensive coverage and availability of services. She also highlighted the recently adopted National Standard Classification of Disability as well as the UAE Universal Design Code, which aims to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities by empowering them to fully participate in all aspects of life through access to service delivery and program design.

Furthermore, she cited the 2019 Special Olympics World Games held in Abu Dhabi. The games which brought 7000 athletes from over 200 countries, highlighted the capabilities and achievements of persons with intellectual disabilities, embodying the spirit of unity and inclusion by involving the stakeholders throughout all aspects of the event.

Minister Buhumaid expressed: “We are confident and determined to follow in the footsteps of our wise leadership, who have set out the core tenets for a cohesive and inclusive society for all its citizens, including persons with disabilities, and upholds the values of tolerance and acceptance of all.”