Disabilities: Stefanile, “Italy supports promotion and protection of rights”

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NEW YORK, JUNE 12 – “The promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities have always been at the forefront of Italy’s foreign policy in the field of human rights, long before the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, of which we were one of the first signatories. Since then, we have strived to promote the full implementation of the Convention, both in our Country and internationally,“ the Italian Deputy Permanent representative to the UN, Stefano Stefanile, said at the General Debate of the Session 12 of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Conference was opened on Tuesday by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Disability inclusion is not only a fundamental human right, it is “central to the promise” of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, said Guterres. To this end, the SG launched a new UN Disability Inclusion Strategy “to raise the standards of the UN’s performance on disability inclusion across the board, and action to bring about the unified and transformative change we need”.

“Inclusion and participation are integral elements of Italy’s policies towards disabilities, particularly with regard to the involvement of civil society and of persons with disabilities in any decision regarding them, according to the principle ‘nothing about us without us’, said Stefanile, recalling that Italy is committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities through a human rights-based approach both at the national and the international level, placing persons with disabilities at the core of its development cooperation: “Our Guide-Lines on Disability in this sector provide for a ‘twin-track’ approach: on the one hand, we promote development and humanitarian initiatives that promote ‘access to’ and ‘inclusion of’ persons with disabilities; on the other hand, we advocate for ‘mainstreaming’ disability across the span of development and humanitarian programs”.

Last but not least, the Italian Ambassador paid tribute to the presence in Italy of a wide spectrum of particularly active civil society organizations committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, which operate in synergy with Government institutions. Some of these organizations engaged in activities related to theatrical arts and sport – Progetto Filippide, Teatro Patologico and Inter Campus – are in New York to participate in a side-event centered on the role of sports and culture as instrument of inclusions of operations with disabilities.  The three organizations received strong support and appreciation for their dedicated work in favour of inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities. (@OnuItalia)