05.03.2015 Women Ambassadors gather to discuss women and girls with disabilities

On Monday, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore hosted with the International Disability Alliance a lovely lunch for UN women ambassadors, specifically focusing on women and girls with disabilities.

Women ambassadors in attendance hailed from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bhutan, Czech Republic, Honduras, Luxembourg, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Romania, Singapore, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam. Also in attendance were representatives from UN Women, UNICEF, and UN DESA.

Kicking off the event, Ms. Karen Tan, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore presented and was followed by Ms. Diamond, Chair of IDA. Ms. Diamond gave a wonderful and passionate presentation on the importance of the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda and more broadly in the UN. Additionally, she encouraged the ambassadors to include women and girls with disabilities in their national statements in the upcoming 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) taking place in NY during 9-20 March. In closing, Ms. Diamond asked that we all work together to create global conference for a resolution on women and girls with disabilities to be adopted during 60th session of CSW in 2016.

During the lunch most of the women present (and Vladimir from IDA) spoke in support of women and girls with disabilities, including from: Singapore, Romania, Panama, Viet Nam, Czech Republic, Honduras, Timor-Leste, Australia, DESA, St. Lucia, St Vincent, Rosangela Berman Bieler from UNICEF, UN Women and UN DESA.

Interesting points:

  • Currently there are 34 women ambassadors at UN Headquarters.
  • UN Women supports disability-related projects in Egypt, Moldova, and Kazakhstan.
  • There is strong interest in indicators, in particular from the Czech Republic, Argentina, Timor-Leste, and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) represented.
  • The first meeting on women with disabilities and statistics took place in 1990 and information from this meeting can be found here.
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days and so we were lucky enough to receive Chinese New Year gifts. Thank you, Ms. Tan and the Mission for your generosity and support! Happy year of the Goat, everyone! (It is also projected to be a good year for the Tiger, Rabbit, and Pig.).