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Photo caption: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) applauds in sign language. He is flanked by Miki Matheson (left), Programme Officer at the Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), and Catherine Pollard, USG for General Assembly and Conference Management. © UN Photo/Amanda Voisard
2015 Holiday Greetings from SCRPD
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The end of the year 2015 is approaching! We at the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) would like to express our sincerest appreciation for your continued support of the work of the United Nations toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable society and the realization of development by, for and with persons with disabilities!
This has been an extraordinary year in moving towards mainstreaming disability! In September, UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes seven targets focusing on persons with disabilities and their needs. In addition, the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), adopted at the 3 rd World Conference on DRR in Sendai, Japan, in March, includes persons with disabilities as beneficiaries and as agents of change. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, adopted by the international community in July,
includes references to persons with disabilities in relation to social protection, employment, education, infrastructure, technology and data.
During 2015, there have been a number of new ratifications of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its Optional Protocol, and now the number of States parties to the CRPD totals 160. The eight session of the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD was held in June this year, under the theme “Mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda.” The Conference of States Parties has grown to be one of the largest gatherings of the international community working on disability issues.
The latest news: during the current 70th session, the General Assembly adopted three disability-related resolutions adding momentum to promote accessibility and mainstream disability in all aspects of development: (i) Toward the full realization of the an inclusive and accessible United Nations for persons with disabilities; (ii) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto; and (iii) Persons with albinism.
In collaboration with our partners, we organized a number of forums to address disability inclusion in a number of areas including accessible and inclusive urban development and operationalizing the post-2015 development agenda for persons with disabilities. Earlier this month, the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at UN Headquarters featured panel discussions on the accessible new urban agenda, invisible disabilities and disability statistics, as well as the UN Enable Film Festival and the UN Enable Photo Exhibition!
We made further progress in making the facilities and services of the UN Secretariat accessible for all, through the Inter-Departmental Task Force on Accessibility. In 2015, a new symbol of accessibility was designed by the Graphic Design Unit of the UN Department of Public Information in New York. The "Accessibility logo" symbolizes inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities, everywhere!
This year also saw the birth of a new report on disability and development! SCRPD has produced a blueprint for a future UN flagship report to start in 2018, which will be released soon. To support the production of the 2018 report, we have launched a Global Network on Monitoring and Evaluation for Disability-inclusive Development. This coming year, we will be working closely with Governments, colleagues from the UN system, disabled peoples’ organizations (DPOs) and other stakeholders, to move towards disability-inclusion in the implementation of a disability-inclusive 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We will also focus on priority issues, including the forthcoming World Humanitarian Summit(Istanbul,
May 2016) and Habitat III, the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development(Quito, October 2016).
We look forward to working with you in the coming year, building on the achievements of 2015.
We wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD)
Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD)
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)