Antony J. Blinken, Secretary Of State
On December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities,â¯the United Statesâ¯remains steadfast in our commitment and resolve toâ¯advanceâ¯the human rights of persons with disabilitiesâ¯at home andâ¯around the world.â¯ We urge foreign governments to engage persons with disabilities in the democratic process, to combat discriminationâ¯and abuse,â¯counterâ¯prejudice, and to protectâ¯their rights andâ¯ensure theirâ¯inclusionâ¯in all facets of lifeâ¯on an equal basis with otherâ¯people.
Around the world, policies related to elections and civic engagement are not fully inclusiveâ¯for persons with disabilities.â¯ Given the more than one billion personsâ¯livingâ¯with disabilities globally, thisâ¯widespread inaccessibilityâ¯is an enormous and untenable disenfranchisement.â¯ This Administration recognizes the values, talents, and contributionsâ¯thatâ¯persons with disabilities bring to the global community.â¯ That is why President Biden appointed Saraâ¯Minkaraâ¯to serve as U.S. Special Advisor on International Disability Rights – a role critical to ensuring disability-inclusive U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance.â¯ Ourâ¯colleaguesâ¯around the worldâ¯with disabilities – Civilâ¯andâ¯Foreign Service, contractors,â¯eligible family members,â¯andâ¯locally employed staff – make us stronger.â¯â¯They bring creativity toâ¯our efforts to resolveâ¯entrenched problemsâ¯and drawâ¯onâ¯their lived experiencesâ¯toâ¯inform and strengthen our policies to promoteâ¯accessibility and inclusion.
The United States strives to be a model for diversity, equity, inclusion,â¯and accessibility,â¯to reflect one of our most fundamental values as a nation:â¯ Thatâ¯everyone is treated with dignity and respect.â¯ At the State Department,â¯weâ¯endeavorâ¯to uphold these values everyâ¯day, ensuring that ourâ¯colleaguesâ¯with disabilities thrive in the workplace.â¯â¯As part of the Summit for Democracyâ¯and in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, weâ¯demonstrateâ¯this approach by convening leaders from all sectors of societyâ¯andâ¯representing democracies around the worldâ¯to identify innovative approaches and actions that promote disability-inclusive democracy.â¯â¯We know the best, most durable, and lasting solutions arise when governments embrace, respect, and integrate diverse perspectives from all communities, including persons with disabilities.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Tunisia.