United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today presented the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award to Thailand, praising the country for its "remarkable progress" in supporting persons with disabilities.
"The Government of Thailand has adopted innovative policies that will go a long way towards creating a society in which persons with disabilities enjoy equal opportunity, including their right to employment," said Mr. Annan at a ceremony held at UN Headquarters in New York. The award was accepted by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
The Thai Government, the Secretary-General said, had established a comprehensive national plan for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and had started a fund to support businesses run by such persons, while increasing access to public transport. Thailand had also worked closely with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to raise awareness of disability issues.
"Today's recognition is thus richly deserved, and I hope it will serve as an example to other nations," said Mr. Annan. He paid tribute to Thailand's achievements, while calling on all to reaffirm "our determination to translate the principles of human dignity, equality and equity into action, thereby making an essential investment in our common future: a global society for all."