United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an international organisation founded in 1945.

It is currently made up of 193 Member States, including Australia, and was founded on the principle of equality for all. The UN Charter affirms the dignity and worth of every human being and gives primary importance to the promotion of social justice and equality. It establishes conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, of which Australia is a signatory, and other sources of international law can be maintained.

The UN also provides a forum for its members to express their views in the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies and committees.

In 1992, the General Assembly proclaimed 3 December as the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), following the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons (1983-1992).

Each year the UN announces a theme to observe for International Day of People with Disability. The theme for 2017 is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”. The overarching principle of this theme based on transformative changes envisaged in the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development [PDF 6.4 MB]. is to ‘leave no one behind’ and empower people with disability to be active contributors of society. In Australia, the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 provides a ten-year national policy framework for all levels of government to improve the lives of people with disability.

Observing the UN’s IDPwD

  • Observance of the Day provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders – Governments, the UN system, civil society and organizations of persons with disability – to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disability in development, both as beneficiaries and agents.
  • Hold forums, public discussions and information campaigns to help find innovative ways and means by which persons with disability and their families can be further integrated into their societies and development plans.
  • Plan and organise performances everywhere to showcase – and celebrate – the contributions made by persons with disability as agents of change and development in the communities in which they live.
  • A major focus of the Day is practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disability in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies, as well as promote public awareness to break barriers and open doors: for an inclusive society for all.