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International Day of Disabled Persons 2005

Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development


Thursday 1 December 2005
6.00-8.00 pm DHL Auditorium


Screening of the award-winning documentary
Film-makers will be in attendance
Please note wheelchair places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come basis


Friday 2 December 2005
1.15-2.45 pm Conference Room 4

1.15 -1.45 pm Official speeches

Opening remarks – Johan Schölvinck, Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development

Message from the Secretary General on the International Day

Message from the Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral
International Convention on the Protection and Promotion
of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

Message from the International Disability Alliance


1.45 -2.45 pm Rights of persons with disabilities: action in development

Dr. Bill Albert, DFID/IDEA, UK:
“A Rights-based Approach to Disability and Development”

Ms. Linda Mastandrea, International Paralympic Committee:
“Disability, Sports and Development”

Question and answer session (approx.20 minutes)


Observance and participation

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Individuals and communities are encouraged to organize their own commemorations to mark the occasion. The events held at the United Nations Secretariat in New York will be open for all UN staff, members of missions to the United Nations, NGOs and the general public. If you are in New York, and wish to attend, please contact us. Persons who do not hold a valid UN ground pass please RSVP by Friday 25 November 2005 to email:, providing your name, organizational affiliation and address.

The Secretariat of the United Nations invites those interested in sharing experiences and practices related to the theme, to send information to


Rights of Persons with disabilities: action in development

This year’s theme focuses on the interdependence between human rights, development and disability. It focuses on getting action to involve persons with disabilities in the development process.

There can be no development, unless everyone is included. By denying persons with disabilities their human rights prevents them from actively partaking in the development process and in sharing the benefits. Persons with disabilities remain largely marginalized and are:

Disproportionately poorer;
Frequently unemployed;
Have higher rates of mortality;
Largely excluded from the civil and political processes;
Overwhelmingly voiceless in matters that affect them and their society.

For the last few decades, slow and uneven progress has been made to address these issues within a human rights framework. Continuing action at all levels of society is needed to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy full and equal participation. Efforts need to address among other things:

environmental and social barriers;

as well as ensuring that persons with disabilities have equal access to jobs, education, health, information and other services.

The theme of this year’s International Day is chosen in the light of The International Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities that is currently being negotiated.


Themes and observances of previous years


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United Nations, 2006
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development