|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Note to Correspondents
Secretary-General to Call for Inclusive Society, Development ‘By, For, With’ Persons
with Disabilities, at Event Commemorating International Day, 2 December
“More and more countries are committing to protecting and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. However, many challenges remain,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed on 2 December. “Persons with disabilities experience higher rates of poverty and deprivation and are twice as likely to lack health care. Employment rates of persons with disabilities in some countries are as low as one third of that of the overall population. In developing countries, the gap in primary school attendance rates between children with disabilities and others ranges from 10 per cent to 60 per cent,” he said.
More than an estimated 15 per cent of the world’s population experience some form of disability and are often subjected to stigma and discrimination, according to the World Report on Disability, recently issued by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. Experience shows that when persons with disabilities are included in the process of development, their entire community benefits, as their involvement creates opportunities for everyone — with or without a disability. Including persons with disabilities and their communities in developmental efforts is important to advance development at all levels.
The Secretary-General said that the exclusion of persons with disabilities “represents a huge cost, not only to persons with disabilities but to society as a whole”. He calls on Governments, civil society and the global community to work for and alongside persons with disabilities to achieve inclusive, sustainable and equitable development worldwide.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities promotes the inclusion of persons with disabilities for achieving a sustainable future for all — especially in view of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) next year.
The day-long commemoration of the Day will take place in two parts at United Nations Headquarters. Opening remarks by the Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the President of the General Assembly, the Permanent Representatives of the Philippines, United Republic of Tanzania and Sweden, as well as the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and the Executive Director of the Global Partnership for Disability and Development will be followed by two panel discussions on strengthening data and statistics on disability for informed policymaking; and integrating disability issues into global development reports. The opening ceremony will also feature a musical performance by students from the New York Institute for Special Education. The morning events will be webcast live at www.un.org/webcast.
The second part of the commemoration — the United Nations Enable Film Festival — will include screening of short films from the United States, Australia, Brazil, India, Uganda, Guyana, Hong Kong, Sweden and the Russian Federation. The films work to raise awareness of disability issues and further promote the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society.
The 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is both a human rights treaty and a development tool, which provides an opportunity to strengthen developmental policies related to the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals, thereby contributing to the realization of a “society for all” in the twenty-first century. For more information, visit: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1561.
For additional information about the event, please contact Fred Doulton, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, tel.: 212 963 4466, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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