This year’s International Day was hosted at UN Headquarters in New York on the 3rd of December. The affair focused on linking the empowerment of disabled individuals with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Day was marked by an official opening ceremony, a panel discussion on new initiatives for disability inclusion, and an event on the theme of ‘sport for all for peace and development’.
President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande described sports as an enabler and a means of empowerment for people with disabilities. He encouraged the UN Member States, the private sector, and civil society to use sports as a “medium to promote the dignity of all people”. Muhammad-Bande added that he wishes to see para-athletes afforded the same visibility as other athletes, and persons with disabilities playing major roles in society, excelling in the media, entertainment, politics, academia and any vocation they choose”.
One billion people around the world, one in seven of the total population have some form of disability. People living with disabilities face stigma, discrimination, and ignorance, as well as a lack of social support for those who care for them. These factors put them at a higher risk of violence, and children with disabilities face a greater risk of experiencing violence than children without. More than 80 per cent of them live in developing countries, and around half cannot afford health care.
Therefore, Disability is recognized as an issue in several of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically in the areas of education, growth and employment, inequality, and accessibility of human settlements”. According to António Guterres, Secretary-General of United Nations, “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”. He re-affirmed the UN’s commitment “to work with people with disabilities to build a sustainable, inclusive and transformative future in which everyone can realize their potential.”
The UN launched a Disability Inclusion Strategy in June 2019 which provides a foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion across the United Nations. The UN system reaffirmed through the newly developed strategy that there should be a complete realization of the human rights of all persons with disabilities is an important part of all human rights. In addition, the Security Council approved a resolution dedicated to the protection of persons with disabilities in armed conflict, and almost all Member States have now approved the agreement on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Source : UN