Modibo Sall, 10, teaches sign language to his father Amadou, 52-year-old, in the center of Côte d'Ivoire.
Modibo Sall, 10, teaches his 52-year-old father, Amadou, sign language. Modibo was born deaf. He lives in the village of Bouaké, in the centre of Côte d'Ivoire. UNICEF/Frank Dejongh

When we secure the rights of people with disabilities, we move closer to achieving the central promise of the 2030 Agenda – to leave no one behind.

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

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.

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.

2019 Theme: Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda

This year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as anticipated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Disability is referenced in various parts of the SDGs and specifically in parts related to education, growth and employment, inequality, accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs.

The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy

On 11 June 2019, Secretary-General António Guterres launched the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy in line with his commitment to make the United Nations an inclusive organization for all.

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.

Events in New York

A one-day event organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs will take place at UN Headquarters, on On 3 December 2019.  Following the official launch of the IDPD, there will be a panel discussion on new initiatives for disability inclusion, as well as spotlight event, ‘Sport for all for peace and development’.  Read the Concept Note for more details.

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. More information available here.
 

Maleni Chaitoo, representative of the International Disability Alliance – International Disability and Development Consortium (IDA/IDDC)

When we secure the rights of persons with disabilities, we move our world closer to upholding the core values and principles of the United Nations Charter. 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: peace and security, human rights, and development. 

Participants performing at a special event organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December 2014)

Related observances