International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Date: December 01, 2016 

Location: U.S. Embassy IRC 

Remarks as prepared 

Assalamu Aleikum. I am glad to have the chance to meet you as we get ready for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

I am glad we have been able to support STEP and other organizations represented here today. You have done excellent work promoting the valuable contributions of Pakistanis with disabilities and their right to fully participate in society.

Promoting disability rights is an integral part of America’s efforts to promote human rights more broadly. Discrimination against people with disabilities is unjust, slows economic development, limits democracy, and erodes societies.

America is committed to removing barriers and creating communities in which disabled people enjoy dignity and full inclusion. There are many organizations in America, like yours, that advocate for the rights of the disabled.

The State Department, led by our Special Advisor for International Disability Rights Judith Heumann, campaigns to raise awareness of the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

Earlier this year, in conjunction with the Paralympics, we started a campaign called “Without Limits.” It focuses on ensuring that persons with disabilities are employed on an equal basis with others.

Around the world, we work with governments and organizations like STEP to protect and promote the rights of disabled persons, and provide practical support to ensure their inclusion and full participation in society.

As America has progressed toward full participation by persons with disabilities, our country has become stronger and more vibrant. We hope the same for Pakistan.  I look forward to hearing more about your work.