International Day Of Disabled Persons

12/03/2011 (All day)

"Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond"

 

 


 

Background

 

 The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December was established by the International Year for Disabled Persons (1981). The Day aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities and gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities. The goal of full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and development was established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982.
 
Through the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (1982) and the Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993), the United Nations promotes the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The Organization’s commitment to the full and effective participation of all human rights by persons with disabilities is deeply rooted in the quest for social justice and equity in all aspects of societal development.

 

These commitments provide an international policy framework, which has been further strengthened by the newly adopted Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006. The Convention provides an impetus and unique platform for advancement of the international disability rights agenda in development from which to engage the wider global development community. Work within this community is framed by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally agreed development goals.

 

Keeping the promise for disability-inclusive MDGs

 

Although many commitments have been made by the international development community to include persons with disability in all aspects of development, the gap between policy and practice continues. While the MDGs cannot be fully achieved without the inclusion of persons with disabilities, the current track toward the achievement of the MDGs may further increase their marginalization. Furthermore, the persistent and cumulative impact of the multiple global crises threatens the progress made toward the achievement of the MDGs that has a disproportionate and negative impact on persons with disabilities.

 

Persons with disabilities represent key target groups in all the MDGs, yet disability and the concerns of persons with disabilities still remains to be included in MDG processes and mechanisms. Their lack of representation could negatively impact on progress in the achievement of the MDGs. Although, Governments, global leaders, policy-makers and other stakeholders acknowledge the need for disability-inclusive development, they must be supported in their efforts and be reminded to keep their promises. The International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December 2010 – can be used for this purpose to further ensure the full and effective participation of persons with disability in all aspects of societal life and development.

 

Early this year at the High Level Plenary Meeting on the MDGs, Governments recognized that development policies and actions must also focus on persons with disabilities, so that they benefit from progress made in achieving the MDGs. Furthermore, the recent General Assembly resolution entitled “Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities towards 2015 and beyond” stresses the need for more data and statistics on the situation of persons with disabilities and calls upon Governments to enable persons with disabilities to participate as agents and beneficiaries of development, in particular in all efforts aimed at achieving the MDGs.

 

This year the Day focuses on the tools for action to make the MDGs a reality for persons with disabilities, such as community-based rehabilitation (CBR) and the new Guidance Note on disability for UN Country Teams.

 


 

 How the Day may be observed

 

Include: Observance of the Day provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders – Governments, UN system organizations, civil society and organizations of persons with disabilities – to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the MDGs.

 

Organize: Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns in support of the Day focusing on disability issues and development to find innovative ways and means by which persons with disabilities and their families can be further integrated into the development agenda.

 

Celebrate: Plan and organize performances everywhere to showcase - and celebrate - the contributions made by persons with disabilities as agents of development and change in the communities in which they live.

 

Take Action: A major focus of the Day is practical action to mainstream disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies, as well as promote public awareness of barriers to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the lives of their societies.

Event Date: 
12/03/2011 (All day)
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