Press Conference by the Secretary-General on the occasion of the Seventy-second Session of the General Assembly

As the world marks International Day for people with disabilities (PWDs), the Secretary-General of United nations (UN), António Guterres, has reaffirmed the commitment of the organisation body 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.

Mr. Guterres said “When we secure the rights of people with disabilities, we move closer to achieving the central promise of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind. While we still have much to do, we have seen important progress in building an inclusive world for all. We are determined to lead by example.”

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.

In June, the secretary general launched the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy, to raise our standards and performance on disability inclusion, across all areas of our work and around the world. And for the first time, the Security Council adopted its first-ever resolution dedicated on the protection of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

The day has been held under the theme; ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership’. The day focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as anticipated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Disability is referenced in various parts of the SDGs and specifically in parts related to education, growth and employment, inequality, accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs.