HANOI, November 30, 2013 -- It is an honor for me to represent USAID/Vietnam to be here today at the Ceremony of International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the theme of: “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”.
Experience shows that when persons with disabilities are empowered to participate and lead the process of development, their entire community benefits, as their involvement creates opportunities for everyone – with or without a disability. Including persons with disabilities and their communities in developmental efforts is important to advance the development agenda.
I am delighted to see the commitment of the Government of Vietnam to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities. This commitment has been shown clearly through the Passage of the Disability Law in 2010, the enactment of the decree guiding implementation of the Disability Law in 2012; and most recently, the Penalty Decree was officially approved by the Government of Vietnam on 29 October 2013.
We are proud that we have been able to assist the Government of Vietnam in achieving these successes. Since 1989, the U.S. Government started its program to improve the quality of life and support the inclusion of Vietnamese with disabilities into all facets of Vietnamese societies. To date, the USG has already contributed over $60 million in assistance to people with disabilities, regardless of cause, in partnership with organizations such as VNAH, CRS, DAI and others, and in collaboration with Ministries of the Government of Vietnam
The commemoration of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities provides an opportunity to further raise awareness of disability and accessibility as a cross cutting development issue and further the global efforts to promote accessibility, remove all types of barriers, and to realize the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society and shape the future of development for all. Development can only be sustainable when it is equitable and inclusive for all. Persons with disabilities need therefore to be included at all stages of development processes, from inception to monitoring and evaluation.
I strongly believe that with the comprehensive, consistent leadership by Vietnamese, you will be able to break all the barriers, and open doors for an inclusive society and development for all
Thank you and I wish Vietnam the success deserved by the valiant, dedicated people here today.
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Last updated: January 23, 2014