International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023

We join with everyone around the globe in recognizing International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2023.

The UN’s theme for this December 3rd is “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for, with and by persons with disabilities”.  We recall the disability community’s rallying cry during the development of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Nothing About Us Without Us! Let’s remember that everything is about us which is why some people state Nothing without us! 

As the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs explains disability is mentionned in different parts of the Social Development Goals,  specifically goals related to education, growth and employment, inequality, accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs. Some examples are as follows:

Goal 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of life-long learning opportunities for all focuses on eliminating gender disparities in education and ensuring equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities. In addition, the proposal calls for building and upgrading education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and also provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all.
• In Goal 8: to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, the international community aims to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
• Closely linked is Goal 10, which strives to reduce inequality within and among countries by empowering and promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, including persons with disabilities.
Goal 11 would work to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe and sustainable. To realize this goal, Member States are called upon to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, such as persons with disabilities. In addition, the proposal calls for providing universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly for persons with disabilities.
Goal 17 stresses that in order to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, the collection of data and monitoring and accountability of the SDGs are crucial. Member States are called upon to enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS), which would significantly increase the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data that is also disaggregated by disability.

Everyone has a role to play in ensuring social and economic development is inclusive of persons with disabilities. December 3 is a time when we can all recommit to intensify our efforts concerning equity for persons with disabilities.