Statement at the CRPD (COSP17) by Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia, Mr. Reinis Uzulnieks

New York, 11 June 2024

President! Excellencies!

Distinguished delegates!

It is my true honour to address you during the seventeenth session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD. Latvia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Considering today’s global context of insecurities, Latvia welcomes the focus of this session on rethinking disability inclusion in the current international juncture and ahead of the Summit of the Future.

As a state party to the Convention, Latvia is fully committed to the values it enshrines – respect for human dignity, devotion to freedom, security and equal opportunities. We pay special attention to the Convention's principle that peace and security are indispensable for the full protection of persons with disabilities.

Today, we witness that wars and armed conflicts directly impact lives of millions of people. We see it happen in Sudan, in the Middle East. We see it in Ukraine, where Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has a devastating impact on the most vulnerable groups. Numerous persons with disabilities have left their homes in Ukraine. And many of them have found security again in Latvia.

Distinguished delegates! 

We must view security also in its broader sense, encompassing physical but also emotional, social and economic security. For this, Latvia has just renewed its national action plan to improve the disability determination process and the support instruments for persons with disabilities.

In Latvia, persons with a disability status are entitled to diverse support instruments from the central government and municipalities to decrease the impact of disability on people’s lives. This includes financial assistance, social services, employment support, technical aid and mobility support.

At the same time, there is always room for improvement. That’s why we are here – to share and learn about best practices to ensure full equality of rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities. We are convinced that the best improvements are made through meaningful engagement of persons with disabilities in decision-making.

Distinguished delegates! 

As Latvia aspires to a seat as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council for 2026-2027, we pledge to champion the principles of inclusivity and resilience on the global stage, ensuring that the needs of the most vulnerable are at the forefront of our international agenda.

Thank you!