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 for IDPwD. The theme for 2016 was Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want, which draws attention to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how these goals can create a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.
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 disabilities – to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities 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 disabilities 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 disabilities 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 disabilities 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.