National Council on Disability Document Archive

Kennedy re World Committee on Disability

Posted by: Jamal Mazrui
Date Mailed: Friday, July 18th 1997 03:12 PM

              Congressional Record dated Wednesday, July 16, 1997
                                Senate Section
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Remarks by KENNEDY (D-MA)
         IMPRESSIVE LEADERSHIP BY THE WORLD COMMITTEE ON DISABILITY
         [CR page S-7618, 38 lines]
 
                  Attributed to KENNEDY, EDWARD (D-MA)

           IMPRESSIVE LEADERSHIP BY THE WORLD COMMITTEE ON DISABILITY
 
 
  ** Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, half a billion people throughout the world
  have disabilities, and 85 percent of them live in poverty. In many countries,
  disability can be a barrier to the many aspects of life that those of us
  without disabilities often take for granted. It has been 15 years since the
  United Nations World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons was
  adopted to improve the lives of citizens with disabilities in their nations.
  As a result, many countries are responding to the United Nations challenge
  and doing more to help citizens with disabilities live fuller and more
  productive lives.
 
    In 1996, the World Committee on Disability, an organization dedicated to
  supporting the U.N. Programme, initiated an annual award named for President
  Franklin Delano Roosevelt to honor nations that make significant progress
  toward meeting the United Nations goals. On September 15, 1996, the first FDR
  International Disability Award went to President Kim Young Sam of South
  Korea. The award is a bust of FDR and a $50,000 donation to a Korean non-
  governmental disability organization, and it recognizes South Korea's
  impressive strides in improving the lives of its citizens with disabilities.
  South Korea has taken steps to legislate needed protections and to provide
  physical and employment rehabilitation services. Buildings, education, and
  employment are being made accessible to those with disabilities. President
  Kim is also waging a public awareness campaign to involve more nondisabled
  South Koreans in the lives of those with disabilities.
 
    I commend South Korea for the progress it is making. The 1996 award is a
  great honor for that country, and an example for other nations. Already,
  President Kim has created a fellowship fund to provide assistance to 10
  outstanding Koreans with disabilities each year, and other nations are
  following South Korea's leadership.
 
    This international award is also a reminder that there is still much more
  to do to ensure that persons with disabilities have the opportunity to become
  independent and productive citizens and lead fulfilling lives. I commend the
  World Committee on Disability for its leadership. I look forward to this
  year's award and to continuing to make worldwide progress on this extremely
  important issue.



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