UN Secretary-General Guterres: Corona Crisis as an Opportunity for Inclusive Social Development
“We have a unique opportunity to design and implement more inclusive and accessible societies”
In an address to those responsible for the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy, UN Secretary-General António Guterres today spoke of the global corona crisis as a risk, but also as a unique opportunity to take new paths towards an inclusive and barrier-free society. His words are a call to all of us who are concerned with this question. Guterres emphasises that the current crisis intensifies weaknesses in social solidarity. People with support needs are among the highest risk groups – not only in terms of illness but especially in terms of the economic and social developments triggered by the pandemic. If, on the other hand, people with disabilities are at the centre of our joint social and political action as co-designers who can contribute experience in dealing with isolation and changed living conditions, we can now more than ever before steer the necessary developments towards a society that is there for all people. Anything that improves the quality of life of those who find themselves in the most precarious situations ultimately benefits society as a whole. Therefore, the orientation of our actions towards an inclusive community could be the best guiding star for all further steps right now.
The perspective that Guterres outlines is also a clear call to us, as a worldwide movement of anthroposophic organizations in the field of inclusive social development, to contribute our experience and creativity, together with all our partners, towards a social dialogue and the shaping of a global future.
(Summary by Jan Göschel)
Read the short speech of Secretary-General António Guterres in the original (available in English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish, as well as a video with subtitles and American Sign Language)
Other United Nations resources:
Policy Brief: A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19
Easy to read version (English): Covid-19 and the rights of people with disabilities