Statement by Secretary Kerry on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), whose 25th anniversary we proudly celebrated earlier this year, was historic, bipartisan U.S. legislation that played a huge role in making our country more accessible and inclusive.

Just as importantly, it has inspired people and governments around the world to see disability through the lens of equality and opportunity.

There is more progress to be made, which is why we continue to promote countries’ adoption of strong national legislation like the ADA, and effective implementation of treaties like the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This year the global community adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of global goals that will inform social, economic, and development priorities over the next 15 years.

In so doing, the world pledged to leave no one behind in addressing the common challenges of ending extreme poverty, protecting the planet, combating climate change, and ensuring prosperity for all.  Importantly, the global goals expressly reference persons with disabilities, recognizing disabled people as both beneficiaries and agents of development efforts.

On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the State Department reiterates its commitment to disability inclusive diplomacy, including doing our part to support disability advocates around the world in advancing disability rights.

The way we treat people of all backgrounds demonstrates our values and defines who we are.

As the world rises to meet the challenge set by the 2030 Agenda, we must do everything in our power to pursue the policies of inclusivity so that we truly leave no one behind.