Opening Remarks by Ms. Beate Trankmann at the Launch Event for 'Creating an Enabling Environment for People with Disabilities in Yanqing District' Project

Posted June 30, 2022
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Ms Beate Trankmann delivers opening remarks at the launch of the project for 'Creating an Enabling Environment for People with Disabilities in Yanqing District'



尊敬的罗署长 (CIDCA Chairman Luo Zhaohui)

尊敬的张主席,(Mme Zhang Haidi, Chairwoman for China Disabled Person’s Federation)

尊敬苏区长 (Mr. Su Lihua Deputy Governor of Yanqing District)


上午好. 欢迎来到联合国大楼!


Around the world, 15 percent of people live with disability. [1]

That’s a lot of people. Yet – too often – they are unseen in workplaces or schools; unheard in decision-making; and uncared for in society.

Even before the pandemic, people with disabilities were more likely to live in poverty. They also experienced higher rates of violence, neglect and abuse. COVID-19 has compounded this, with millions of people losing their jobs and livelihoods, especially those already marginalized. Many people with disabilities also have underlying health conditions that make the virus more dangerous for them, with an up to three times higher risk of death, even in developed countries. [2] And for those vulnerable in multiple ways – like women and girls with disabilities – the challenges of rebuilding their lives are even greater.

For these reasons, people with disabilities – and others most at risk of being left behind – are at the heart of what we do. For decades, UNDP has been supporting people with disabilities in China, empowering them with essential knowledge and skills, along with encouraging communities to better include them. Ensuring that differently abled people participate in and benefit from development is essential to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

As such, UNDP works closely with the central and local governments in China to strengthen the resilience of this vulnerable group to socio-economic shocks, such as the pandemic, and other challenges and we continue to advance disability inclusion across all programmes and operations.

For instance, by driving wide-ranging efforts to extend affordable broadband and enable people with disabilities to gain digital skills for the future of work. Access to the Internet and assistive technology can help them overcoming barriers they face – including financial obstacles, due to lower incomes and expenses related to their disability. Another example is the UNDP-UN Volunteers Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities, which focuses on boosting opportunities for this key group.

Together with the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), we are also supporting people living with disabilities in other countries, via South-South cooperation. This includes CICDA’s South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF) project in Turkmenistan that improves facilities for disabled people and offers them professional vocational training for decent jobs in future.

In March, UNDP China and CIDCA widened our partnership, to include Yanqing district. This new project that we are launching today will equip people with disabilities in Yanqing with professional skills, including baking, to boost their employment chances. As the saying goes, 授人以鱼,不如授人以渔 (shòu rén yǐ yú ,bù rú shòu rén yǐ yú).

At UNDP, we are excited to be providing the facilities, materials, training & management support to enable that. We also urge the public & private sectors, NGOs and communities, to give vulnerable people more skills training, and create employment opportunities for them. With your help, we can deliver on the SDGs’ most vital promise: to leave no one behind.

Thank you, Chairman Luo, for reaching out and for entrusting us with this new partnership. We are delighted to assist people living with disabilities in Yanqing, with skills for a better life. And we’ll continue working with all partners, to create an enabling environment for those most vulnerable.

Having a disability should not stop anyone from working or living a fulfilling life. Indeed, people with disabilities are often the most agile, determined and brave among us! So, let’s focus on what is possible, rather than seeing limitations. Let’s build up abilities for differently abled people and let us ensure everyone can reach their full potential… So that we, as a society, truly progress for everyone.



[1] World Health Organization (2011), World report on disability, Geneva.

[2] The Lancet (2021) Triple jeopardy: disabled people and the Covid-19 pandemic: