2019 International Day of Persons with Disabilities emphasises participation and action

Established by the United Nations (UN) and held annually, the 2019 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) will be observed on 3 December through a series of official events.

This year’s theme is ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’. According to the UN, the theme centres on:

the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issue, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN also states that ‘persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, are important actors in the quest for building inclusive, equitable and sustainable societies.’

Beginning on 2 December, several UN Agencies will come together in Harare, Zimbabwe for a ‘Commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Zimbabwe’. This event will include an art exhibition and a series of presentations aiming to raise awareness of disability rights and promote inclusion across the UN.

At the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, an event titled ‘Sport and Handicap’ will take place as part of the CAMPUS UNESCO programme. This event will feature UNESCO staff and Paralympic athletes. The Agency will be represented in Paris at the ‘Workshop on the Implementation of the “Guidelines on the inclusion of learners with disabilities in open and distance learning”’. The purpose of the workshop is to review past work and new proposals relating to these guidelines.

On 4 December, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations on Disability and Accessibility plans to launch a new website on the ‘10 Principles of the Global Campaign for the Good treatment of girls, boys and adolescents with disabilities in the world’. This will take place at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Many other organisations around the world will also participate in IDPD. Anyone can learn about the day’s activities by following the hashtag #IDPD on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

For more information, view the programme here.

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