Annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities. NB8 Lithuania (13.03.2023)

UN Human Rights Council, 52nd session

Annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities

Theme: Support systems to ensure community inclusion of persons with disabilities, including as a means of building forward better after the COVID-19 pandemic

Statement of the Republic of Lithuania, on behalf of Nordic-Baltic countries delivered by the Permanent Representative Ambassador Darius Staniulis

13 March 2023

Thank you Mr. Vice-President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Lithuania.

We thank the panellists for their contributions and the OHCHR for the report that gives a solid basis for our discussion.

International human rights law leaves no doubt on the right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others. Care and support systems are main enablers of this right, as well as of the autonomy, independence and dignity of the persons with disabilities.

Persons in vulnerable situations that rely on care work and support networks, including persons with disabilities, were disproportionally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exposed deep-rooted problems of the support and care systems that urgently need to be addressed in our efforts to build forward better.

As States play a fundamental role in organizing the distribution of the care work and ensuring community inclusion, we encourage their resolute action on transforming traditional care systems in a gender-responsive and disability-inclusive way.

Furthermore, meaningful participation of persons with disabilities, as well as all other stakeholders, in the discussions related to the respect, protection and fulfilment of their rights must be ensured.

Distinguished panellists, how could the international community better contribute to enhancing disability-inclusive approaches to care and support systems?

I thank you.