UAE’s Permanent Representative garners support for Al Qubaisi’s nomination to CRDP

NEW YORK: The Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, yesterday hosted a reception at the U.N.’s headquarters in honour of Mariam Saif Al Qubaisi, Head of the Special Needs Sector at Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs, to generate support for Al Qubaisi’s nomination for membership of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the period 2015-2018.

Following is the full speech of Ambassador Nusseibeh on the occasion: “I have great pleasure in introducing the United Arab Emirates’ candidate for the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2016-2020), Mrs. Mariam Saif Al Qubaisi.

Mrs. Al Qubaisi has had a distinguished career, and for almost a decade has headed the Special Needs Sector at the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs in the U.A.E. the central government authority and service provider for persons with disabilities and special needs in the country.

She is a highly qualified advocate and practitioner in her current role she is responsible for managing 25 centres for persons with disabilities, developing and implementing national strategic plans and ensuring that services are delivered to the highest international standards and she has represented the U.A.E. internationally, including as our representative at the World Disability Union in Turkey.

She has contributed enormously to improved public awareness in the U.A.E. on the rights of persons with disability. I can confidently state that her efforts have helped to build a more inclusive society, improved services and helped people with disability and special needs transition to active participation in the labour market of the U.A.E..

While vision and leadership are critical to progress on the rights of persons with disabilities, we believe that this must be also backed by legal, policy and institutional support by governments. In the U.A.E., these rights are underpinned by the constitution and federal laws which ensure equitable and non-discriminatory access to health, social, educational and professional services.

The U.A.E. is also a signatory to the Convention on Right of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and has worked vigorously towards implementing its provisions. This requires coordination of all government relevant bodies, developing the appropriate policies and regulations, promoting the quality of services provided, and implementing the best international practice in this field.

We are proud to state that our commitment to promoting the rights of persons with disabilities transcends national boundaries. Among other initiatives focused on enabling and empowering people with disabilities, the U.A.E. hosts an annual international conference “ACCESS Abu Dhabi”. Experts and practitioners from around the world join to share their best practices in the field of care and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. In March this year, the U.A.E. hosted “ABILITIESme”, the first-of-its-kind event in our region to seek greater inclusion and the integration of people with disabilities and special needs into mainstream society.

In light of her considerable professional experience and extraordinary achievements, and with the full support of the U.A.E. and a national tradition of progress on this important issue, I hope you will agree with me that Al Qubaisi is an ideal candidate for the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Upon joining the CRPD, Mrs. Al Qubaisi will work hard to promote the message of the CRPD, and to strengthen and empower the CRPD Convention with a view to advancing the rights of people with disabilities and creating an inclusive society globally.”

SOURCE: WAM