Development and human rights for all

International Day of Disabled Persons, 1999 - Accessibility for all for the new Millenium

The United Nations observes annually, on December 3, the International Day of Disabled Persons. The theme for the 1999 International Day of Disabled Persons, is "Accessibility for all for the new Millenium," which reflects a major priority of the international community in promoting full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of life.

A strong focus on accessibility issues, which pertain to barrier-free, non-handicapping and safe physical environments and to accessible information and telecommunication technologies, plays a crucial role in promoting full and effective participation and integration of persons with disabilities in social life and development.

The 1999 International Day of Disabled Persons will be observed in conjunction with the "Interregional Workshop and Seminar on Environmental Accessibility", a conference addressing issues related to planning and design of accessible urban development being held in Beirut, from 30 November to 3 December 1999. The Workshop and Seminar are an initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in cooperation with the Government of Lebanon, Ministry of Social Affairs, the Lebanese National Committee of Disabled Persons and SOLIDERE, the Lebanese Company for Development and Reconstruction of the Beirut Central District.

Secretary-General's message on the International Day of Disabled Persons