International Day of Persons with Disabilities

On December 1, 2023, Dr. Olesya Zaglada, Founder and Vice President of PSF, actively participated in the United Nations Commemorative Event honoring the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Since its proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992 through resolution 47/3, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated annually worldwide on December 3. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.3 billion people experience significant disability today, which represents 16% of the global population.

The observance of the IDPD aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities.

The theme for the IDPD in 2023 is “United in action to rescue and achieve the sustainable development goals for, with, and by persons with disabilities.”

Five priority areas of sustainable development structured the discussion: gender equality (People), climate action (Planet), financing for development (Prosperity), a new agenda for peace (Peace), and strengthening multilateralism (Partnerships).

This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities reminds us that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires living up to the promise to leave no one behind, especially the 1.3 billion people with disabilities worldwide.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the conference that the rights of persons with disabilities are a vital issue. He continued: “On this important day, I call on the world to work side-by-side with persons with disabilities to design and deliver solutions based on equal rights in every country and community.”

Mr. Guterres pointed out, “Today, at the halfway point to the 2030 Agenda, persons with disabilities continue facing systemic discrimination and barriers that restrict their meaningful inclusion in all areas of society.

Truly sustainable development for persons with disabilities requires a laser-like focus on their needs and rights—not only as beneficiaries but as active contributors across social, economic, and political life.

This means ensuring that persons with disabilities are at every decision-making table, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and across countries’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals—from poverty eradication to health, education, and climate action.

The United Nations is leading by example through our Disability Inclusion Strategy and by supporting Member States as they drive progress for and with persons with disabilities.”

During the conference, it was continually repeated that no one must be left behind.

PSF supports these goals and is proud to contribute to disability inclusion in sports through its projects.