“Since the first Paralympic Games in 1960 we have seen that Paralympic sport has an amazing ability to bring people together, break down negative stereotypes and create an overwhelming feeling of positivity."
Ahead of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (7 February), United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven.
The Secretary-General said the Paralympic Movement was of key importance in promoting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has embraced sports as a way to create societies that value diversity and inclusion.
Sir Philip briefed the Secretary-General on developments in the field, noting that despite positive progression, there are still some people with impairment who face barriers and exclusion.
Sir Philip Craven said: “Since the first Paralympic Games in 1960 we have seen that Paralympic sport has an amazing ability to bring people together, break down negative stereotypes and create an overwhelming feeling of positivity.
“Despite this progression, there are still some people with an impairment who face societal barriers and exclusion. That is why it is important that we get more people practicing para-sport around the world and experiencing the Paralympic Games. Paralympic Sport is not a new concept, but its full potential can foster greater inclusion and change attitudes like no other.”
The Secretary-General praised Sir Philip for his endeavours and vowed to ensure that as many sectors and implementation partners as possible help to adapt for the inclusion and diversity that provide all people with the equality of access they need and deserve.