International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), 3 December 2017

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December


Theme for IDPD 2017: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all” 

Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Disability


The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3 in 1992. 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 on the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Building on many decades of UN’s work in the field of disability,  the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, has further advanced the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development frameworks, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, the New Urban Agenda, and  the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.

The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”.

The 2030 Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”. Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and  agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, and urban development. Governments, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, academic institutions and the private sector need to work as a “team” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Events at UN  Headquarters


Events for the 2017 IDPD celebration at UN Headquarters in New York City will be organised by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on 1 December 2017, in collaboration with Member States, the UN system, academic institutions, civil society, disabled persons organizations, and the private sector.

The official commemoration of the day will be held at the Conference Room 4 from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.

Opening Session

The Opening of the International Day will include the Day’s message from the UN Secretary-General, as well as statements from the President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, Member States and Civil Society Organizations.
10 a.m. to 11.10 a.m., Conference Room 4


Panel Discussion on “Persons with disabilities as agents of change: Lessons from disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action for resilient and sustainable societies”

The Panel will discuss recent experience as well as good practices related to building resilience and how persons with disabilities, as agents of change, contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the context of disaster risk reduction, humanitarian action and accessible urban development, followed by a Q&A session to engage a broader audience.

11.40 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., Conference Room 4

  • Concept Note
  • Moderator: H.E. Ambassador Mr. Luis Gallegos, Special Advisor, Nippon Foundation
  • Margaret Arnold, Senior Social Development Specialist, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience, World Bank
  • Gopal Mitra, Programme Specialist – Children with Disabilities, Disability Section/Programme Division, UNICEF
  • Hiroshi Kawamura, Board Member and Former President of the DAISY Consortium (PowerPoint )
  • Satoshi Iiyama, Co-Founder, University of Tokyo Empower Project (PowerPoint, PDF)
  • Boram Lee, Disability Advisor, Women’s Refugee Commission
  • Victor Pineda, President of GAATES and World Enabled (per Video)

Side event on “Big data analytics and text mining:monitoring and evaluating disability and development for SDGs and CRPD implementation”

During this side event, experts will discuss the findings from these studies as well as debate the impact and implications of big data analytics and text mining on national, regional, and global levels. They will present recommendations for using these innovative forms of data analysis to create more focused and evidence-based implementation mechanisms.

1:15 p.m. – 2.30 p.m., Conference Room A

Side event on “Sustainable developments in health through innovative technologies”

The Panel as organized by the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine and the International Council of Caring Communities will highlight the application of innovative medical technologies and means to facilitate accessibility to technologies to minimize barriers for participation of persons with disabilities in global society. The presentations will focus on the use of regenerative medicine to treat osteoarthritis, the employment of remote virtual therapy to treat paralysis in persons with stroke, the application of 3-dimensional printing to enhance access for orthotics and prosthetics, and the facilitation of access to technologies by means of entrepreneurship and government participation, followed by a discussion with emphasis on effective, sustainable application of these technologies in our global society.

1:15 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. Conference Room 8

Panel Discussion on “Building future societies for all”

The three-hour panel discussion on “Building Future Societies for All” will bring together the public and private sector to share good practices and future actions on urban social development as a strategy to poverty eradication (Panel A), in the lead of the 56th Commission for Social Development. Since 2017 is also the International Year of Tourism, the discussion will also explore the benefits and contributions of pro-poor tourism ( Panel B) which ensures that all people participate and enjoy social inclusiveness, employment and prosperity. When civil society and the public sector work together with the private sector on poverty eradication strategies, innovative public policy frameworks can be created to built societies that are resilient and leave no one behind.

3.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m., Conference Room 4

Performance by Korean musicians and statement by Mr. Bae Boumjun

11.15 a.m. to 11.35 a.m., Conference Room 4


Heidi Latsky Dance Installation (On Display Global Sites video)
Heidi Latsky Dance will stage a movement installation of 20-30 performers who together form a living gallery. The installation features different and unexpected bodies in white clothing (signifying all the colours of the rainbow and a metaphor for inclusion) moving as reverent sculptures in the space. The installation is sponsored by New York City”s Mayor”s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD). Similar installations will take place simultaneously around the world that will be showcased at UN Headquarters.
9.00 to 10.00 a.m., UN Visitors’ Lobby.


Exhibition on ITU -T H.702 Standardization of IPTV Accessibility
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) updated the recommendation H.702 (2015) this year, advancing the standardization work on the accessibility features in IPTV systems. With the updated recommendation implemented, persons with disabilities can choose more easily the terminal devices that have the functions they need, which is especially relevant in the context of disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction. The ITU -T H. 702 and its implementation work to support the Build-Back-Better process in earthquake hit zone in Ecuador being conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in collaboration with the Government of Ecuador.

10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Vienna Cafe



Medea by Euripides presented by Teatro Patologico

Teatro Patologico, founded in 1991 by one of Italy’s most distinguished theater artists, Dario D’Ambrosi, is an innovative and by now well-established project that engages people with physical and intellectual disabilities in theater activities, as a means to guarantee their full inclusion into the societies and the full enjoyment of their human rights, in full adherence to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

6.15 pm to 8.30 pm, ECOSOC Chamber

How you can commemorate IDPD 2017 in your local community

Include: Observance of the Day provides opportunities for collaborative and inclusive events by all stakeholders – Governments, the UN system, civil society and organizations of persons with disabilities – to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development, both as beneficiaries and agents of change.
Organize: Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns in support of the themes of IDPD 2017 to discuss and share ways of including and empowering persons of all abilities to develop and be fully included in their local communities.
Celebrate: Plan and organize performances everywhere to celebrate the contributions made by persons with disabilities as agents of change in the communities in which they live. Celebrate persons with disabilities by creating opportunities to help realize their potential, be it through music, sport, academia or interpersonal skills.
Take Action: A major focus of the Day is practical action to realize the objectives of the Day for persons with disabilities and their communities. So, highlight best practices and think about making recommendations to your local political leaders, businesses, academic institutions, cultural centers and others. Work to ensure that your activity leaves a legacy and brings about lasting change.


Events from around the world

Everyone are welcome to organize their own events to celebrate the International Day to raise awareness and to promote the rights and perspectives of persons with disabilities around the world.

Share with us the IDPD 2017 in your community for posting the information and link to your event on the UN Enable website by emailing us at (max. 50 words).