Today, the world population is over 7 billion people and more than one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability; 80 per cent live in developing countries.
The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
The theme for IDPD this year is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”
Secretary- General’s Message on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Main Commemorative Events at United Nations
- Event on “Shaping an Inclusive Future for All: Leading with Determination”, 10:30am – 13:30am, United Nations at World Expo 2020 Dubai. The event will explore the opportunities and challenges to shape an inclusive future for persons with disabilities; showcase how the international community’s embrace of persons with disabilities will speed efforts to meet specific Sustainable Development Goals; and explore key issues to improve the lives of people with disabilities through accessibility, education, decent work, innovation/technology, and sport.
- Virtual Event on “Reducing Inequalities Through Technologies: A Perspective on Disability Inclusive Development”, 8:00 to 9:30 am (NY time), co-organized by United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The event aims at increasing awareness of the importance of supporting innovation ecosystems to spur the development of new and improved assistive technologies; promote understanding of the workings of the assistive technologies industry; and share insights on the landscape and global trends in this cluster of technologies as a complement to universal design The event will also highlight select initiatives by members of the UN family to support informed discussions relating to the realization of the objectives of the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This event is held as part of the WSIS TalkX and is closely linked to the WSIS Action Lines – where accessibility is a cross-cutting topic – and the Sustainable Development Goals. Register here for this event.
IDPD Events around the World
- Virtual Event on “Leadership of the new generations: Children and adolescents with disabilities and their voices post COVID-19” organized by the Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility, Professor Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Chile to the United Nations. The 15 years since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the best time to promote an unprecedented space for the effective participation of children and adolescents with disabilities, promoting the strong leadership of the new generations for the implementation of the Convention and the fulfillment of the 2030 agenda on sustainable development in such important areas as inclusive quality education and universal accessibility. Invitation and Registration | Concept Note: English | Español
- Virtual Event on “Building an Inclusive and Accessible Post-COVID-19 World: Leadership of Persons with Disabilities”, 10:00 – 11:30am (EST). The event will be led by persons with disabilities and civil society, supported by UNITAR, UN-Women and The University of Tokyo KOMEX, the Global Forum on the Leadership of Women and Girls with Disabilities, EMPOWER Project, UNiTe, and STEP. The panel discussion will include expert participants from around the world, including those with expertise and experience in: disability and development, gender equality, diversity and inclusion, humanitarian emergencies and the leadership of disadvantaged groups at the local, national and global levels.
- Regional Forum on Advancing Disability-inclusive Development: Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world, 3 December 2021, Virtual. The Forum will be organized around three thematic sessions. All of the sessions aim to highlight the leadership and participation of persons with disabilities in creating a more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable post-COVID-19 situation within Asia and the Pacific. Programme | Flyer
- Leave No One Behind Advocacy Series Interactive Dialogue on Gender Responsive Disability Inclusion, 30 November 2021 at 8:30am Eastern Standard Time, organized by United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), this Learning Interactive Dialogue event will focus on critical elements for disability inclusion with a strong gender lens The speakers in the event will touch upon the current state of disability inclusion in the UN, discuss why it is important to look at the intersection of gender and disability and how to get started with a few important principles. The focus will be on data, consultation and participation, and reasonable accommodation and tracking allocation and expenditure.
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities join the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, which presents an opportunity to look at the specific and unique forms of gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities.
United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy
When launching the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy in June 2019, the Secretary-General stated that the United Nations should lead by example and raise the Organization’s standards and performance on disability inclusion—across all pillars of work, from headquarters to the field.
The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy provides the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through all pillars of the work of the United Nations. Through the Strategy, the United Nations system reaffirms that the full and complete realization of the human rights of all persons with disabilities is an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In recognition of this commitment, the Secretary-General submitted in October 2020, the first comprehensive report on steps taken by the United Nations system to mainstream disability inclusion and implement the Strategy since its launch.
IDPD on social media
Everyone can join on social media by using the hashtags #IDPD | #EveryoneIncluded | #CRPD and promoting this year’s theme on “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”