Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world. The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. This theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The 2030 Agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind,” is an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity of an individual person and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle, cutting across the three pillars of the work of the United Nations: Development, Human Rights and Peace and Security. It is critical to ensure, in this regard, the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.
The 2030 Agenda places great importance on issues related to sustainable urbanization, particularly in Goal 11: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. There can be no sustainable development without sustainable urban development. The UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), held in Quito, Ecuador in 2016, recognized the importance of adopting a smart-city approach that makes use of opportunities from digitalization, clean energy and technologies, as well as innovative transport technologies, thus providing options for inhabitants to make more environmentally friendly choices and boost sustainable economic growth and enabling cities to improve their service delivery.
This year, the Secretary-General of the United Nations is launching a first-ever flagship report on disability and development UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development | 2018 – Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities, The Report provides an evidence base for disability-inclusive policy-making, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of an inclusive, accessible and sustainable global development agenda.
The commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at UN Headquarters will bring together Member States, UN entities, Mayors, national and local policy makers, civil society organizations, academic institutes and organizations of persons with disabilities to discuss the way forward for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development, in conjunction with the launch of this Secretary-General’s Flagship Report on Disability and Development to be issued as part of the commemoration of the Day.