30 November 2023
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 persons with disabilities worldwide.
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.
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.
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Innovative solutions and inclusive education for people with disabilities are the main topics of the Zero Project Conference 2024 which is taking place at the United Nations in Vienna for the 11th year. Since 2013, the United Nations in Vienna through the UN Office at Vienna (UNOV), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Essl Foundation, have been working together to realize the United Nations’ commitment to building a better world for people with disabilities.
During the 139th session, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) continued its work to ensure the functioning of the international drug control system, focusing on the availability of controlled medicines and the prevention of drug diversion and misuse, as well as INCB’s contributions to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs’ (CND) mid-term review to take place in March 2024.
"Gender equality in science is vital for building a better future for all. Unfortunately, women and girls continue to face systemic barriers and biases that prevent them from pursuing careers in science." — António Guterres
"Female genital mutilation is an egregious violation of fundamental human rights that causes lifelong harm to the physical and mental health of women and girls." — António Guterres