Promoting a society accessible for all

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be celebrated with a number of events at UN Headquarters on 3 December under the theme “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”

The United Nations has a long history of advocating for the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and development. Persons with disabilities – more than one billion persons – who make up more than 15% of the world’s population – have so much to contribute when and if the barriers are removed for their participation. 

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons, proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1992, aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for action toward protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. 

As the global population with disabilities continues to grow, an accessible and inclusive world is more important and essential than ever.

This year’s event will focus on the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Disability and Development (HLMDD), which will take place on 23 September 2013 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 66/124. It will also mark the official opening of the preparatory process for the High-level Meeting. The President of the 67th session of General Assembly along with the co-facilitators of the HLMD will officially launch the preparatory process on Monday, 3 December 2012 at a high-level opening ceremony of the International Day. 

The commemorative events for the Day will also include a panel discussion under the theme: “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond” and will culminate with the annual United Nations Enable Film Festival (UNEFF), featuring short films to help raise awareness concerning disability issues with a view to promoting the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development.

The event will be co-sponsored by the Office of the President of General Assembly, Governments of the Philippines and Spain and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 

“Together, we must strive to achieve the goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: to eliminate discrimination and exclusion, and to create societies that value diversity and inclusion,” said the UN Secretary-General in his message for the day.

For more information:
International Day of Persons with Disabilities