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U.N. Holds First-Ever High-Level General Assembly Session On Disability And Development

“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened a historic U.N. meeting of world leaders Monday ‘to break barriers and open doors’ for the more than one billion disabled people around the world,” the Associated Press/Huffington Post reports, noting, “The goal of the first-ever high-level General Assembly meeting was to spur international action to ensure that the disabled can contribute to the global economy” (Lederer, 9/23). “The rights of persons with disabilities must be directly addressed by the post-2015 development agenda, United Nations officials [urged at the] high-level meeting of the General Assembly, where world leaders pledged to work together on national and international policies that enhance and promote disability-inclusive development,” the U.N. News Centre writes.

“Reaffirming the international community’s resolve in advancing the rights of all persons with disabilities, the Assembly’s High-level Meeting on Disability and Development adopted an agreed outcome stressing the need to ensure accessibility for and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development and of giving them due consideration in the emerging post-2015 U.N. development agenda,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “Among other things, the outcome document, ‘The way forward, a disability-inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond,’ underlined the need for ‘urgent action’ by all relevant stakeholders towards adoption and implementation of more ambitious disability-inclusive national development strategies with disability-targeted actions, backed by increased international cooperation and support,” the news service adds (9/23). The WHO “is already scaling up efforts in line with the outcome document by preparing a seven-year global action plan, ‘Better health for persons with disabilities,'” the agency notes in a press release (9/20).