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The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Building on many decades of UN’s work in the field of disability, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, has further advanced the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development frameworks, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, the New Urban Agenda, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.

The theme for this year’s International Day is ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”. Persons with disabilities, as both beneficiaries and agents of change, can fast track the process towards inclusive and sustainable development and promote resilient society for all, including in the context of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action, and urban development. Governments, persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, academic institutions and the private sector need to work as a “team” to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), seek to increase the awareness and understanding of public towards all issues encountered by disabled people. This is an opportunity to highlight how far we have come in recognising persons with disabilities as just another manifestation of diversity in our communities, and to stand in support of a society that embraces that diversity in all its forms and shapes.

Realizing the importance of defending the rights of disabled youth, many international organisations, governmental bodies, NGOs and media-organisations have been contributing through many programs and initiatives. International organizations have been launching many actions that support education for disabled youth and convention on their rights.

Therefore, let us contribute our efforts in providing decent rehabilitative care and prosthetic devices as well as improving educational aspects for disabled youth.