Those words – from the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Disabilities, Shuaib Chalklen – have stuck with me today on my second and final day at the UN General Assembly.
He said them during a meeting at which I was trying to establish what more the UK could do to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the poorest parts of the world.
We are driving disability up the agenda, initially focusing on improving data and evidence with a new commitment on making schools that are directly funded by the Department for International Development inclusive.
But I am keen to learn what others are doing, share lessons and work together on this important issue. That’s why I also had a very interesting meeting with USAID’s disability coordinator Charlotte McClain- Nhlapo and heard more about what the US Government are doing to ensure their development work includes people with disabilities.
But those words – “it’s easy to miss the invisible” – apply to so many groups of vulnerable people around the world, including the LGBT community.
Earlier yesterday I attended a meeting of public and private donors supporting LGBT issues hosted by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, USAID and the Ford Foundation.
It was my opportunity to demonstrate my – and the UK’s – commitment to LGBT rights and hear what others are doing. But most importantly, I was able to meet others who feel as passionately about the issues of equality as I do and work with them to tackle exclusion and violence against LGBT people around the world.