Ministry Statements & Speeches:
Tēnā koutou, Tēnā koutou, Tēnā koutou katoa
In the language of New Zealand’s indigenous people, my warm greetings to you all.
I welcome the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Gerard Quinn, to his new role. You can be assured of New Zealand’s full support as you commence your important work.
Thanks also to the Special Rapporteur for your informative report and the insights it provides on your approach to your mandate.
New Zealand commends your commitment to inclusive equality as a guiding philosophy underpinning your work. This focus on personhood and autonomy of the individual is crucial to the full realisation of the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The implementation of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy must also be a priority for us all. New Zealand has confirmed NZ$150,000 to support this important initiative over two years. We hope that by strengthening system-wide accessibility and inclusion, and mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities, the United Nations system can become a model for others throughout the world.
We acknowledge your point that treaties, no matter how eloquently expressed, are not self-executing. We must be active and engaged and work together to improve the realisation of disability rights across the globe.
The agenda the Special Rapporteur has outlined will certainly add to these efforts, and it has New Zealand’s full support.