Dear Mrs. Umarzoda Saida Ghayrat, First Deputy Minister of Health,

Participants of today’s Launch.

Let me begin by congratulating the Government for signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability in March, in New York.    The UN in Tajikistan including through the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD), has proudly supported Tajikistan with its efforts to join the CRPD and to ensure that its provisions are domesticated into national legislation and translated into action. We look forward to continuing our support to prepare for ratification of the Convention in 2020.

However, one of the biggest bottlenecks to realizing the Rights of Persons with disabilities is “us” – our negative attitude; our inability to see capabilities of disable adults and children which lead to our discriminating against them, ridiculing and stigmatizing them. We must develop our ability to acknowledge that all human beings desire to be happy, to live with dignity and that no human being is perfect – we are all able, as well as, disable in different ways.   

We congratulate the government for taking steps to sensitise public, policy makers, service providers, teachers, parents and communities and the United Nations is very proud to be associated with today’s launch of National Disability Inclusion Campaign with a slogan ‘Each One of Us is Able’ within the framework of government’s National Programme on Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities in Tajikistan. 

This communication campaign aims to increasing public awareness on Rights of People living with disability and to discourage discriminatory attitudes and stigma while encouraging social change for inclusion of children, women and men with disabilities into all policies, in national budget allocation, in school and university enrolment, in jobs, in sports, art and culture.

The campaign is designed to give voice to children, men and women with disability by giving them a media platform to directly express themselves, tell their stories, share their achievements and contribution to the nation building as responsible citizens of Tajikistan.    

The onus to prove that “inclusion” and “equality” are not just words but everyone’s reality in Tajikistan, including those with disability, lies with the State, private sector and the civil society.  This means that adults and children living with disability should be involved as active participants in decision making processes following the principle that “nothing about me should be done without me”.  This is also important for achieving the SDGs and its core principle to ‘leave no one behind’ in development.   

The UN is committed to working with all partners to promote inclusive, equitable and sustainable development of Tajikistan.

Thank you!

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