Tuesday , January 26 2021

Israeli Odelia Fitoussi elected to the UN panel on People with Disabilities

After a year of an international diplomatic campaign led jointly by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli mission to the United Nations, Odelia Fitoussi was elected on Monday to represent Israel on the UN Disability Rights Commission (CRPD). The CRPD is the leading UN body responsible for formulating global policy for 182 signatory states to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Israel was one of the leading nations in the preparation of the convention, acceding to it in 2012. In the elections held on Monday at the UN headquarters in New York, representatives of 27 countries competed for nine seats on the committee. Israel won in the first round, receiving support from 109 countries. “I feel honored to be a member of the CRPD,” Fitoussi said, “where Israel has been a partner in creating a new language for people with disabilities: the language of law, pride in who you are; in our uniqueness as disabled people who enrich society with all the good we have built. Fitoussi, 43, born with muscular dystrophy (SMA2), will become the first Israeli elected to sit on this prestigious committee. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Fitoussi on Tuesday night to congratulate her on her election. He wished her success and said that the people of Israel are proud of her. Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, congratulated Fitoussi on her victory. “Odelia is a tremendous source of pride for Israel,” he said.

“Her choice is a true triumph of the human spirit, which will be an example for people with disabilities around the world,” Erdan said. “Israel’s extensive experience in the field of disability rights will make a huge contribution to the committee’s work and will have a positive impact on the lives of many people around the world,” said the ambassador. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also congratulated Fitoussi on her election. “I am proud of Odelia and I am glad that she has been elected as Israel’s representative in the UN CRPD,” he said. “I thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel and around the world for over a year of diplomatic efforts behind the scenes and in public to persuade countries to vote for our candidate,” Ashkenazi added, recalling Israel’s mission to the United Nations and the diplomatic efforts of the Foreign Office to mobilize support for the candidacy of Fitoussi. decided to devote her life to the fight for the rights of people with disabilities, strove for greater inclusion of teachers with disabilities in the education system and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Israel.

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