International Day of Disabled Persons 2005

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.

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;
  • policies;
  • laws;
  • services,

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.

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