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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

UAE 'main contributor' to international movement to empower disabled people, says Minister 

The Minister of Community Development, Hessa Buhumaid, received the banner on behalf of the UAE in Glasgow

The UAE’s successful bid to host the World Down Syndrome Congress 2020 entrenches its position as a main contributor to the international movement to empower and support people with disabilities, the country's Minister of Community Development said in Glasgow.

Hessa Buhumaid was receiving the banner on behalf of the UAE as host of the congress, during the closing session of this year’s conference in Scotland, when she made the comments.

The UAE will be the first country in the Middle East to host the international conference in 2020.

Ms Buhumaid and Rawdha Al Otaiba, deputy ambassador to the UK, also visited the UAE pavilion at the congress.

At the closing ceremony on Friday, the Minister told the congress that the UAE joined and endorsed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international UN human rights treaty intended to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities.

''The UAE has materialised this convention into policies, regulations and laws that promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law,'' she said.

Chairperson of the Emirates Down Syndrome Association, Dr Manal Jaroor, said: "The UAE’s selection to host the World Down syndrome Congress 2020 was motivated by its prominent international stature and its strategic policies and remarkable achievements in the inclusion and empowerment of people of determination.”

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Some 1,200 experts, researchers and professionals are expected to attend the largest global conference for people with Down syndrome in Dubai in two years.

Previously held every three years, the congress will now be held biennially due to increase interest, with Glasgow, Scotland, playing host in 2018. Dubai will host the 14th conference in 2020, followed by Brisbane, Australia, in 2022.

The Dubai Government, along with the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, seek to make the emirate the leading city for disabled access by 2020.