U.S. Statement at the HRC Interactive Dialogue on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities   

Interactive Dialogue: the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities   

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
46th Session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, March 3, 2021

As Delivered by Meryn Schneiderhan  

The United States wishes to welcome incoming Special Rapporteur Gerard Quinn.

The United States views the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all  – including individuals with disabilities – as critical elements of a just and prosperous society.  Noting that many persons with disabilities are further marginalized through race, religion, gender, LGBTQI+ identity, and other elements of identity, we also recognize the importance of all efforts toward greater social justice.  Article 30 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) requires States Parties to encourage and promote the participation, on an equal basis, of persons with disabilities in mainstream sporting activities.

The Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy applies the twin track approach of disability-specific as well as disability inclusive programming to spread messages of inclusion and empowerment.  Our Global Sports Mentoring Program has reached nearly 30,000 athletes and coaches who either have disabilities or who work with athletes with disabilities.

We support the growing partnerships between UN organizations and the International Paralympic Committee and Special Olympics International.  We commend the United Nations for “harnessing the power of sport to empower and level the playing field for all participants.”

How can Member States help leverage these sports partnerships to expand implementation of the CRPD?