Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development, and for the 2030 Agenda to truly live up to its promise to 'leave no one behind,' all physical and cultural barriers must be removed to create societies that provide real opportunities for everyone everywhere, the United Nations has said.
The theme of the 2017 edition of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is 'Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all,' and the UN is urging governments, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, academic institutions and the private sector to work as a 'team to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In his message on the Day, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development embodies a commitment to building the capacities of those who face marginalisation and exclusion to reduce their vulnerability to economic, social and environmental shocks.
In recent years, the international community has achieved notable progress in advancing the rights of the world's one billion persons with disabilities. Disability is recognised as a cross-cutting issue in the 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda, which sets a new global standard for sustainable urban development, and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.