UN Enable – International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December 2010

Posted to site: December 2, 2010

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


 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.

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, finding 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 by persons with disabilities to the communities in
which they live as agents of development and change.

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

Events at UN Headquarters

Friday, 3 December 2010 (

Programme of Events)

10.00 to 10.30 a.m.: Opening Ceremony (Conference Room 1, NLB)

10.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m.: Interactive Panel Discussion on Community-based inclusive development: The role of CBR in the realization of the MDGs for persons with disabilities (Conference Room 1, NLB)
The interactive panel discussion will include participants from WHO and other UN system organizations, experts in CBR, civil society organizations and
organizations of persons with disabilities.

12.00 to 4 p.m.:
DESA Disability Film Festival
(Conference Room 1, NLB)
Short films have been selected on the basis of their content that work to raise awareness of disability issues and to promote the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society.

1.15 to 2.30 p.m.: Seminar and Workshop on CBR Guidelines (Venue: TBC)
The workshop will be conducted by WHO and its partners who prepared the recent CBR Guidelines and will be open to all attendees who would like to learn more about CBR and incorporating it as a tool for development, especially in achieving the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals.

Thursday, 2 December

1.15 to 2.30 p.m.:
AIDS and Disability: An emerging developmental concern
(Conference Room 7, NLB)
A “bridge event” on an emerging development issue will be held to commemorate World AIDS Day (1 December) and International Day for Persons with Disabilities
(3 December). The panel, organized by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and
the Permanent Mission of the United States to the UN, will discuss the emerging issue of AIDS and disability, including their linkages, with a view to
foster the integration and development of inclusive HIV policies and programmes.

1.00 to 3.00 p.m.:
Panel Discussion on Ageing and Disability
(Venue: Church Center)
The panel discussion on Ageing and Disability will be organized by the NGO Committee on Ageing. Presentations will include issues related to ageing, long-term disability and disasters, as well as the recently launched CBR Guidelines by WHO and other stakeholders. The event will also include an overview of the events planned for 3 December.

3.00 to 5.00 p.m.: Education and the MDGs (More details forthcoming)

Please email
to register guests that do not have UN entry passes.

Events around the world to commemorate IDPD2010

(More national commemorations forthcoming)


During the 16 Days of Activism of 2010, UNHCR in Kassala, Sudan will launch a number of programmes and activities to address issues from SGBV, AIDS prevention, main-streaming of the rights of persons with disabilities, mental health, etc. A workshop will be conducted for all internal staff members with a focus on mental health services provided to the refugees, screening, mental health and human rights law, with group discussions including staff and psycho-social health workers. (


For detailed information regarding CBM celebrations around the world, please go to the following website:


There will be a Gala Screening at the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra, presented by the The ACT Human Rights Commission ( human.rights@act.gov.au)


1) Barrhead, Alberta, Canada. Barrhead Community Council celebrates the Day with their 6th annual Inclusive Community Celebration at the Barrhead Seniors Drop-in Center. (

2) The Community Futures Development Association of British Columbia will be celebrating keeping the promise by launching a peer to peer network for the entrepreneurs with disabilities. ( edp@communityfutures.ca
or www.communityfutures.ca)

3) Tri-Cities Celebration of Ability in recognition of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The Tri-Cities are made up of the communities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody in British Columbia. (

4) Fashion Moves oversees a year long Fashion Design Challenge and works with new and established fashion designers to design fashionable garments for a disabling condition. (


1) UNWG, Rome will introduce the initiative of its Family Issues Committee of a Focal Point for UN Families with children/young adults with disabilities
to inform and help families of the staff of the Rome based UN agencies. As part of an awareness raising campaign within the un Agencies, the UNWG will show at FAO, a video on children/young adults with disabilities.
( UNWG@fao.org)

2) Special Day of Activities at the Palazzo Ducale, Provincia di Mantova, Settore Turistico e Culturale (


AIFO- K NGO and KOSCOBAR – K CBO will conduct a slum sensitization event and launch the project “Disability and development. Initiative for the vulnerable group of Korogocho, Kenya”- financed by Regione Liguria and AIFO, to celebrate the Day at the Korogocho Community Center. (


The Libyan Paralympic Committee will conduct an awareness-raising fair to highlight issues related to persons with disabilities. (


On December 3rd 2010 – the 3rd Nationale Wereldgehandicaptendag at the Ronald McDonald Centre in Amsterdam will be held using the very successful 2nd Nationale Wereldgehandicaptendag programme of 2009. The events will include a fashion show and a wheelchair tango demonstration, as well as a getting-to-know-you
event at the information market place. (


The Network of Organizations Working with People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP) will hold an event at the  Karachi Marriott Hotel, which will include a panel discussion with disability practitioners and Inclusive Society Pakistan will launch a parent support group. The event will also highlight success stories of persons with disabilities. (

United States of America

The Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of
State Office of Global Women’s Issues, National Council on Disability, the United States International Council on Disabilities, Human Rights Watch, InterAction, and the U.S. Department of State’s Executive Women at State, Asian American Foreign Affairs Association, and Disability Action Group, will hold an event to address critical disability issues. (

Themes and observances of previous years

  • 2009: ” Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world”
  • 2008: ” Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us”
  • 2007: “Decent work for persons with disabilities”
  • 2006: “E-Accessibility”
  • 2005: “Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development”
  • 2004: “Nothing about Us without Us”
  • 2003: “A voice of our own”
  • 2002: “Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods”
  • 2001: “Full participation and equality: The call for new approaches to assess progress and evaluate outcome”
  • 2000: “Making information technologies work for all”
  • 1999: “Accessibility for all for the new Millennium”
  • 1998: “Arts, Culture and Independent Living”

You tell us!

If you would like to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in your community and would like to share an innovative idea that includes other stakeholders, such as your Government, a UN agency, an NGO/DPO or a community, please let us know about it. We will showcase the idea on our website to inform and inspire others to do the same. Please send your ideas to

Reproduced from http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1540