News / Health

UN Launches Effort to Open Doors for Disabled

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (l) accompanied by General Assembly President John Ashe, addresses the High Level Meeting on Disability and Development during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2013
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (l) accompanied by General Assembly President John Ashe, addresses the High Level Meeting on Disability and Development during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2013
VOA News
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched a dialogue among global leaders to spur action to ensure the one billion disabled people around the world can contribute to the global economy.

Ban spoke Monday at the first high-level General Assembly meeting about persons with disabilities.  He urged the leaders to "break barriers and open doors" for the disabled.

Ban said "far too many people with disabilities live in poverty" and many suffer social exclusion while being denied access to education, health care, and social and legal support,

In opening the meeting in New York, General Assembly President John W. Ashe stressed the importance of a new global commitment to eliminate discrimination and stigma against persons with disabilities.

He called for the disabled to be included in the development of new U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to fight poverty and promote equality for 2015 to 2030.

Ashe said many disabled people are hidden from view by others, and robbed of contact, dignity or joy because of poverty, lack of support services, an unwarranted sense of shame or terrible ignorance.

His view was echoed by blind singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, a U.N. Messenger of Peace.  He told the leaders, "We need to make sure that real participation and voices of persons with disabilities are included in everything we do for peace and development around the world."

Wonder said he wishes for a day when technology is available for every blind person or person with disabilities around the world.

The executive director of the World Health Organization office at the U.N., Dr. Jacob Kumaresan, said people with disabilities are twice as likely to find health services inadequate, and three times as likely to be denied adequate health care.

According to the World Health Organization, 360 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss, but only 10 percent have access to hearing aids.  More than 200 million people need glasses or low-vision devices, but have no access to them, and only five to 15 percent of the 70 million people who need wheelchairs have access to one.

Monday's meeting is a prelude to the annual U.N. gathering of presidents, prime ministers and heads of state that begins Tuesday.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid