Denmark apologizes to German Jewish woman with special needs

Denmark’s government has apologized for their failure to make life easier for a German Jewish woman who had to cancel a trip to the COP24 climate talks due to access to her wheelchair.

State Secretary Soeren Haddad told the Security Council Thursday that his government’s “regret” at not being able to accommodate Judith Kremers-Gabor, 55, was an “unfortunate oversight.”

She, a wheelchair user, had been booked to travel from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Hanover, Germany, to attend the conference, but was told last month that there was no accessible public transportation available from Gothenburg to Hanover. Kremers-Gabor was finally able to find alternative accommodations and could still attend the talks, but required multiple lifts, not easy for her to maintain.

She was the only one of the nearly 800 delegates at the talks in Poland to feel the same way.

The Dutch government declined to apologize for the lack of accessibility to all Gabor said she wanted during a visit from Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Danish government, which has the power to override Dutch, is expected to discuss the matter with its national council, which has the power to make a correction.

Last week, the chair of Germany’s delegation, accompanied by representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Poland, India, and China, criticized Denmark for not having addressed the issue with their own delegation, which has the power to make changes.

The ambassador of the Netherlands to Poland, Thomas Silvester, which represents nearly 800 delegates, had sent a letter to the Danish government, and received an email back apologising.

The Danish government, Silvester said, sent an email stating “they regret the inconvenience” to the meeting of world leaders but offering no details on how the government would remedied the matter for Kremers-Gabor. Kremers-Gabor, an environmental advocate, felt differently.

“I’m really happy,” she told the Associated Press. “They wanted me to be my game, and they made me my game.”

Read the full story at BBC News.


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