Disability Is not an Obstacle to Overcome Challenges


H.E. Ambassador Maradona’s Tireless Efforts for IIMSAM Continue


H.E. Ambassador Remigio M. Maradona continues to accomplish new feats, even after three decades since his first affiliation with the United Nations.


Currently, H.E. Amb. Maradona is the Secretary General of the autonomous Intergovernmental Institution for the Use of Micro-Algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition (IIMSAM), the Intergovernmental Observer to the United Nations. He resumed this title in 2011, after previously serving as the Director-General for IIMSAM from 2006 to 2010.


“As a disabled, or as we say in UN parlance, physically challenged person, I feel that one of the greatest accomplishments of the UN was the establishment of the Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. Being a Polio-victim of the upper-extremities since the age of two, I have always felt that the United Nations System was the only mechanism available for all the disabled peoples around the world to voice their grievances and unfair play towards them, fighting social taboos, cultural barriers, insensitivity, social isolation, and outright injustice,” says Ambassador Maradona.


“For these reasons and my own personal experiences, I remain a lifetime advocate of the Rights of the Disabled. I have actively participated at the various sessions of the United Nations Ad-Hoc Committee on Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, as a Delegate Advisor of the Delegation of Chile and Vanuatu, and of course, in my role with IIMSAM.”


With the Ambassador’s input, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been ratified by over 150 countries. The convention, widely regarded as the first international human rights treaty of the twenty-first century, is one of the fastest to be ratified. “The 150+ ratifications are evidence of the commitment by the international community through the UN-System to promote and protect the human rights of persons with disabilities, and prove once again that our UN really works,” His Excellency declares.


Following his appointment in 2006, H.E. Amb. Maradona has played a pivotal role in IIMSAM’s fight against malnutrition.


As Secretary General of IIMSAM, it lies on the Ambassador’s shoulders to carry out the mandate of the organisation – to work towards the benefit of those suffering from malnutrition, especially the poor and vulnerable. The position also vests in him the power and responsibilities to ensure that the concerns of the Council of Member States of IIMSAM are addressed, problems solved and where necessary, interventions made to uphold the values and moral authority of IIMSAM, whilst following the best course of action to preserve the organisation’s integrity.


Although this is a role laden with immense responsibility, Amb. Maradona gracefully excels, as he has throughout his tenure with the UN.


H.E. Amb. Maradona’s remarkable contribution to the work of the United Nations dates back to 1985 – when he was appointed as the first disabled intern at the UN Headquarters in New York. Following this, he went on to hold various pivotal administrative positions, and played a key role in the promotion of creative programmes supporting the United Nations Alma Mater, a UN NGO.


His Excellency is a staunch supporter of promoting sport and physical education as a fundamental right of every human being, and stresses on its importance in the development of one’s personality. He founded the ‘Futbol4Peace’ campaign, and was one of the youngest member ever to be elected to the Board of Directors to the UN Alma Mater, by Perez De Cuellar, former Secretary-General of U.N.


In 2005, His Excellency reported directly to the Deputy-Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu, as a Goodwill Ambassador and Special Advisor to the United Nations by the Republic of Vanuatu, on social, humanitarian and disabilities related matters.


By way of recogniation, Amb. Maradona was conferred with ‘2006 Global Human Rights Protection Award’ by the Indian Institute of Human Rights, and more recently with the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Seva (Service) Medal’ in 2016, for his career-long humanitarian efforts.


To further drive in this leader’s relentless qualities, the IIMSAM Secretary General is also a renowned and accomplished Spanish poet, and has been conferred with various honors and awards by established platforms such as the prestigious Ruben Dario Award, amongst others. He has also published six romantic poetry books.



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