Over one billion people live with some form of disability - that is approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, which represents among some of the world’s poorest people who lack equal access to basic resources, such as education, employment, healthcare and social and legal support systems, and are therefore victims of a high mortality rate.
The situation for many disabled people is desperate. Around the world persons with disabilities continually face discrimination and are hindered by social, economic and attitudinal barriers, which limit and exclude them from participating fully, and effectively, as equal members of society.
Today the United Nations marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, to highlight these ongoing challenges and promote the right to inclusion in society for all.
In spite of this situation, disability had remained largely invisible in the mainstream development agenda and its processes. A gap that has been urgently addressed by the United Nations.
On 23 September the General Assembly convened the High Level Meeting on Development and Disability (HLMDD) at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme: “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond”.
The outcome of this High level meeting was the adoption of an action-oriented document that provides policy guidance that helps translate the international commitment for a disability-inclusive society into concrete actions, aiming to strengthen global efforts that will ensure accessibility for, and inclusion of, persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development.
Now is the time to implement the Outcome Document of the High Level Meeting and break down the barriers and realize an inclusive society!
“We must remove all barriers that affect the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in society, including through changing attitudes that fuel stigma and institutionalize discrimination.”-Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon
The 2013 theme is: Break barriers and open doors: to realize an inclusive society for all!
Photo: UN Photo, Supervisor helps a child to solve a mathematics problem at the Sudanese Association for Disabled People, North Darfur, Albert González Farran
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