74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Agenda Item 141: Joint Inspection Unit
Chatura Perera, Delegate, Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
13 November 2019
Sri Lanka aligns itself with the Statement delivered by the State of Palestine on behalf of the G77 and China, and thanks Mrs. Megayla Ulana Austin of Guyana, for her able leadership as the Chairperson of the Committee on Conferences for 2019.
The report of the Joint Inspection Unit entitled “Enhancing accessibility for persons with disabilities to conferences and meetings of the United Nations system,” introduced by Inspector Gopinathan Achamkulangare was comprehensive and informative.
My delegation welcomes the recommended initiatives to have a dedicated policy for persons with disabilities on accessibility to conferences and meetings of the UN system, and establishing a comprehensive approach to this end, in order to ensure that ‘no one is left behind.’
The specific and time bound recommendations of the JIU report, addressed to the legislative organs and executive heads of the UN are of a practical nature. In this context, it would be appropriate for those recommendations to be examined and implemented by 2020/2021, while anticipating the effective implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, in the long run.
While affirming our national commitments under the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), Sri Lanka notes with appreciation, the call of the JIU on the organizations of the UN system to respect and voluntarily assume obligations under its Article 9.
With regard to where approximately 15 % of the global population is estimated to live with some form of disability, and face more barriers than those without, in participation, accessibility and in deliberative processes, positive consideration of the JIU recommendations is encouraged.
Considering the view of the JIU that accessibility for all must be an integral part of any sustainable development strategy, my delegation is of the view that the concept of ‘inclusive development’ should be at the centre of our collective efforts in achieving the SDGs.
In conclusion, Sri Lanka looks forward to engaging constructively in the deliberations under this agenda item.