The executive committee of Rehabilitation International (RI) held a video conference on July 28. Zhang Haidi, president of RI and chairperson of the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF), presided over the meeting and delivered a speech.
Zhang began her speech by reporting RI's recent work. She said that on behalf of RI, she had attended the global launch event of the World Report on Hearing, the roundtable meeting for contracting states of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Generation Equality Forum of the United Nations Women.
Zhang actively promoted the pragmatic cooperation between RI and the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the UN Population Fund, the World Health Organization, and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, advising RI members donate essential medical supplies for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Zhang, as of the end of 2020, China has eliminated all abject rural poverty, including among the destitute physically challenged. Zhang also described how RI, the China Disabled Persons' Federation, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific, and the UN Women jointly launched an initiative promoting the development of disabled women, issued stamps themed around disabled women, and held symposiums on disabled women. The construction of the main body of the rehabilitation university of China has been concluded, which will provide a platform for exchanges and cooperation among the RI members and experts in the future.
Zhang pointed out that RI will continue to lead the progress of the cause of disabled people in the world, prioritizing development in its work. RI will further expand the scale of its membership, enhance the vitality of its members, optimize its organizational structure, guarantee fund supports, explore providing new public goods for the international community, take advantage of more international platforms to further improve its influence, and strive for sustainable development.
Zhang stressed that when RI celebrates its centenary anniversary next year, all members of the executive committee and members of the organization should uphold the torch of the institution to pass it to the next 100 years, and let the radiances of humanitarian care warm the hearts of disabled people.
The chairpersons of RI's regional branches and several special committees also reported their recent work and discussed the organization's future development and centenary celebrations. The agenda of the meeting also covers RI's cooperation projects and preparation for its 24th World Congress.
Zhang Wei, deputy-chair of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, and the officials in charge of the international department of the federation also took part in the video conference.
RI is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1922 in New York. Its mission is to advance the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities across the world. Zhang was elected chairperson of the organization in 2014.