Zahra Nemati In Un

Zahra Nemati, the first Iranian Gold medalist in Paralympics & Olympics, attended in UN Panel discussion held on 10 June 2014 in New York, USA.

In UN, Zahra called people with disabilities not to give up and they do their bests to reach their goals and ideas. On a press conference, she pointed that ” I proud myself to be the first Iranian woman to win Paralympic medal.”

In continuous, she briefed herself to all audiences and announced that ten years ago due to a tragic car accident I had to say goodbye to all of achievements in martial arts, but never gave up my disability; I thank God being live, I did swear with myself to the end to do all of my endeavor to achieve all of my aims.

Nemati referred sport as one of the best ways to overcome disability and hoped that full time and equal and fair job opportunities be offered to the peoples with disabilities and by 2030 all the world cities will be accessible for all the disabled.

Zahra while highlighting her achievements, called for governments to consider women disabled’s challenges and provide them equality to get access in public services.

Her speech in UN is as follows:

“His Excellency, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,

I am Zahra Nemati, the first Iranian Paralympian gold medalist, and so honored being here with you.

Sports for the Disabled in Iran originated from the imposed war against our country by Saddam Regime and since then we have witnessed so many progresses, till now.

Around ten years ago because of horrible event I left Taekwondo; I came into archery with spinal injury. My religion; Islam and Iranian culture, my parents’ supports taught me disappointment has no place in life. Therefore, in the light of Paralympic Movement’s progress in Iran, this time I again commenced my exercises in Para Archery. This sport helped me my capabilities be seen and realized, NOT my weaknesses.

We have gathered here to discuss about the ways of fulfillment of the Disabled’ rights in UN Human Rights Convention. In another vein, to find how to build a real world full of capabilities, independency, equality to come into community, mutual respects without any kind of discrimination.

I believe that sport in grass root / elite level is accessible and powerful tool for the disabled integration into the society. Sports help the disabled in two lines: from one side, it changes the people’s perception and from the other side changes the disabled view toward himself. This internal / external influences cause to reduce individuals isolation and ultimately to push them to the social life. Self-confidence, skill and knowledge of the disabled go high and even enable him to support other people.

Children should get familiar with the disabled from school early days and educational system should at least allow the disabled children participate in school sport programs to reveal their talents and skills. Also, through sports, the disabled & abled students in on equal condition can play game, a positive atmosphere created to the disabled which has an influential role in his life.

From another side I believe that sport is a place to get self-confidence, self -independency, empowerment within the disabled women and girls. Disabled women are under discrimination: one relates to the gender and another to their disabilities. As you know a few girls & women are involved in Para sports. Unfortunately, in some countries people have an image which limits women presence in the society. We are against of this view. Every year, on Paralympic Day around thirty thousand disabled peoples which half of them are women, become familiar with Para sports and their challenges in life; barriers such as access to public services. Have they been improved? How is public transportation? Even some cultural, economic, political limitations and lack of infrastructure’s development are dams to the disabled’s attendance in sport complexes. Hence, it is suggested that the issue of global development for the disabled should be as one of priorities in Millennium Developmental Plan in 2015 to witness the improvement for the disabled.

Also it is suggested that, the employment issue and providing equal rights for the disabled (men & women) will be under special focus to remove poverty within this layer of society.

I believe that fulfillment of disabled rights must become as the national concern and also in developmental plans in sports for all; special place should be improvised to the disabled.

We have come to make a bridge between what exists and what should be. Come together build a world without any barriers. A world full of mutual respect, peace and safety to all people with disabilities.

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