By Lerato Ndlovu
United Nations have reiterated its pledge to encompass people living with a disability regardless of gender and age. The commitment was made by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message for the international day of persons with disability.
“On this International Day, I reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations to work with people with disabilities to build a sustainable, inclusive and transformative future in which everyone, including women, men, girls and boys with disabilities, can realize their potential,” said Guterres.
The theme for the year 2019 is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda”, focusing on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as mentioned in 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Guterres also urged all UN member states that have not sanctioned the convention on the rights of persons living with disabilities to do so hastily.
“Almost all United Nations Member States have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and I urge those who have not yet done so to ratify it without delay,” he added.
World Disability Day marked for December 3 aims at increasing public awareness, understanding and accepting people with disability and celebrating their achievements and contributions.
Persons with disabilities face stigma, discrimination, and ignorance, as well as a lack of social support for those who care for them. These factors put them at a higher risk of violence, and children with disabilities face a greater than four-fold risk of experiencing violence than children without.
Disability is recognized as an issue that cuts across several parts and referred to in several facets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically in the areas of education, growth and employment, inequality, and accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs.
The International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly in 1992 by resolution 47/3. The day aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development.
This aims at making the society more aware about the political, social, economic and cultural life of people with disabilities.