Madame Zhang Haidi, Chairperson of the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF), headed a Chinese delegation on a visit to Edinburgh, attended the World Congress of Rehabilitation International (RI) from 22 to 27 October and took up the post as president of RI on 27 October. Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun and his wife were invited to the Closing Ceremony of the RI World Congress.
Mme Zhang Haidi presented great achievements in the undertakings for people with disabilities over the last 30 years in fields such as rehabilitation, education,employment, poverty alleviation and barrier-free construction, etc.. She said that the Chinese system for protecting rights and interests of people with disabilities has been well regulated, basic framework for public services initially set up, quality of life for people with disabilities remarkably improved, social environment for equality well developed and international influence of the undertakings for people with disabilities increasingly expanded. She expressed that during her term of office, she will promote strong and good-will co-operation between RI and other international organizations, endeavor to coordinate international disability-related affairs, build up global network for RI, support active participation by members from developing countries and conduct more collaborative projects. By leveraging strengths of the RI professional committee, she will give her support and encouragement to global advanced scientific research institutions to undertake scientific and technological research in rehabilitationwith focus on spinal cord injuries and infantile autism in particular. Foundation for Africa will be set up for rehabilitation projects, personnel training and the provision of assistant appliance to disabled women and children especially. In addition, an international permanent award for rehabilitation will be created with the aim of rewarding personnel making remarkable contributions to the undertakings of rehabilitation. The RI will further popularize and enhance the level of rehabilitation for disabled people and improve their life quality.
More than one thousand representatives from sixty countries and regions attended the world congress. They spoke highly of Mme Zhang Haidi's assumption of RI President, agreeing with the endorsement by international community on the achievements of China's undertakings for disabled people and expressing high hopes for the future of RI development under her leadership. Mme Zhang Haidi was elected as RI President in October 2014 in Warsaw Poland for a term from 2016 to 2020. Founded in 1922 in the United States, RI has since devoted to advance rehabilitation and welfare for disabled people with membership spreading over one hundred countries and regions.
Splendid performance was given by the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe at the Closing Ceremony of RI's World Congress, touching audience from other countries and showcasing the unique charm of brilliant Chinese culture. During the World Congress, the Chinese Consulate General organized teenagers from the Consulate General and the local Chinese community to work as volunteers, providing services to disabled representatives attending the congress which was well recognized.