Our dedication to world disability rights and inclusion

Brought on by Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson:

Dear delegates,

The UK strongly supports the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

We are committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities and will shortly publish the National Disability Strategy. It will focus on the issues that disabled people say affect them most in all aspects of life. The strategy will take into account the impact of the pandemic and include commitments that will overcome obstacles and increase opportunities.

We welcome the focus of this conference on the response and recovery from COVID-19. The UK Government is fully committed to helping people with disabilities. We work regularly with disabled people to ensure their needs are included in the government’s response to COVID-19. We ensure that disabled people continue to have access to financial and other support and accessible communication.

In addition, we are actively working on measures to prevent health-related job losses and are already helping people with disabilities to stay and take up work. In response to the pandemic, we have provided specialized remote employment support and facilitated access to programs.

We will publish a Green Paper on Health and Disability based on the views of people with disabilities. It examines how our welfare system can better meet needs by: improving applicants’ experience of our services, enabling independent living, and improving employment outcomes.

The UK remains committed to the global rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. The UK Integrated Review, which sets our international priorities, reaffirms our work to protect human rights for all throughout our diplomatic and development activities. The second monitoring report of the Global Disability Summit shows excellent progress on the 170 global commitments on disability, including the UK.

In 2021, the UK will launch an expanded strategy for the inclusion of people with disabilities, which will be expanded to include new pressing global issues such as responding to COVID-19 and climate change. It will reflect our broader global presence and allow us to work with more partners around the world. To support implementation, we will: Establish a new External Disability Board, make new commitments at the 2022 Global Disability Summit, and work across the UK government to embed disability inclusion considerations into our overall ODA spending.

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