Message by António Guterres to Staff Union Event on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Disability inclusion is a fundamental human right.

Disability inclusion is a fundamental human right.

When we fight to secure those rights, we move our world closer to upholding the values and principles of the United Nations Charter. 

Early in my tenure, I commissioned a comprehensive review of our performance on disability inclusion.

It highlighted some examples of good practices, but mostly gaps – big gaps – across all our work, from headquarters to the field.

That is why I launched the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy last year.

It is a strategy of action – action to raise the standards of our performance on disability inclusion across the board – and action to bring about the transformative change we need.

One year on, we can see that the Strategy has catalyzed positive action, but there is still a long way to go.

I want the United Nations to be an employer of choice for persons with disabilities.

I want our humanitarian, development and peace operations to fully recognize and advance the rights of persons with disabilities.

And I want the United Nations to be fully accessible for one and all.

I welcome the initiative of the Staff Union to highlight the successes and challenges of persons with disabilities and what our Organization is doing to advance inclusion.

Our goal is clear: a world in which all people – including persons with disabilities – can enjoy equal opportunities, have a full say in decision-making and truly benefit from economic, social, political and cultural life.

Thank you.

Speech by
António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations