Statement by Ambassador Klimow on the Occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Matthew S. Klimow, U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan
Matthew S. Klimow, U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan

On behalf of the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and the American people, I extend warm greetings and best wishes on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to the Government and people of Turkmenistan.

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. This year the theme of the day is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership”.

On December 3, 2017 President Trump stated that “Today, in the United States and in nations near and far, we celebrate the valuable contributions and inherent dignity of people with disabilities”. He also called for the removal of “Societal barriers that diminish opportunities for people with disabilities and their families.”

Here in Turkmenistan, the American Embassy is holding events across the country to recognize the important contributions that persons with disabilities make. When we empower persons with disabilities to fully contribute by breaking down barriers, we all benefit from their talents and strengths.

In Ashgabat on December 4, we are holding a workshop for those who teach English as a Second Language to help them develop materials that allow visually and hearing-impaired students to better learn English. At the Mary and Turkmenabat American Corners, December 4, will be a day of service to the disabled with presentations and activities at both Centers. In Mary there will be a discussion of disability issues, followed by various activities. In Turkmenabat three Turkmen visitors will share how they have been able to overcome their disabilities to lead a full and productive life. On December 8, the Dashoguz American Center will organize a project for athletes from the Dashoguz Sports Club for the Disabled to celebrate the Day, designed to provide information about how the U.S. has worked to build a more inclusive and barrier-free society for persons with disabilities.

As we recognize the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Turkmenistan, we also acknowledge the efforts of the Government of Turkmenistan in this sphere. In particular, we wish to recognize the great strides that have been made by the Sports Clubs for the Disabled across Turkmenistan and by the Paralympic Committee of Turkmenistan. Congratulations! We look forward to continuing working with you to remove barriers for those with disabilities.