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.
More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will rise to 6.5 billion people. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces. 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. 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 enabling cities to improve their service delivery. Importantly, the New Urban Agenda acknowledged that future cities, towns and basic urban infrastructures and services need to be more environmentally accessible, user-friendly and inclusive of all people’s needs.
In the morning, the commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities will feature the launch of the first UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development on the “Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by, for and with persons with disabilities”. The publication will be launched by Mr. Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General, for Economic Development and Chief Economist (UN DESA).
The opening ceremony will review the progress achieved, explore ways to further empower persons with disabilities and provide an overview of the international framework of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The event will gather Member States, UN entities, civil society organizations, academic institutes and persons with disabilities.
In the afternoon, the commemoration will focus on “Accessible Cities for All: Smart and Inclusive Urban Planning” as key elements to reduce inequalities and empower people to live in accessible, usable and friendly healthy environments. The event will explore SDG11 of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development by providing space for Mayors, City Leaders to exchange innovative solutions on how to implement the SDGs and to exchange good practices about inclusive urban planning to promote the participation and well-being of their citizens of all ages and abilities.
Afterwards, the event will discuss smart inclusive environment and how to apply information and communication technologies to provide better infrastructure, quality services in a safe accessible environment.
Find out more here: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/