NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1 – “Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities and their inclusion is a priority of Italy’s international cooperation”, the Director for International Organizations of the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Leonardo Bencini, said during a virtual side event of the 13th session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Building on Bridging the Gap
“The COVID-19 emergency made pre-existing vulnerabilities and situations of fragility more acute, but it has also reinforced the need to pay particular attention to those more at risk, including a substantial number of persons with disabilities”, Bencini said during the event “Building on the Bridging the Gap experience” which Italy co-sponsored: “We work with the UN system and all stakeholders to leave noone behind and enable them to study, work, and live without discrimination” .
December 3 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Bencini explained that “inclusion is the main goal of Bridging the Gap – inclusion of persons with disabilities at both the international and country level through more inclusive and accessible public policies and services. And to ensure this now, at this particular point in time, we must focus on those that had been and are worst hit by this pandemic”.
How to re-orient international cooperation
Italy has taken measures early on to re-orient many of its programs and activities to the response to the Covid-19 emergency, having in mind the need to assist the more vulnerable population groups, including people with disabilities: “Promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities and their inclusion is a cross-cutting priority for our international cooperation. It is based on the awareness that disability is something that concerns us all, it concerns the majority of families and, at one point or other in life, it concerns almost everyone”, said the Italian diplomat. (@OnuItalia)