UNESCO and The Nippon Foundation join forces to promote the human rights of persons with disabilities through ICTs

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, signed a framework agreement to promote the human rights of persons with disabilities, notably their right to access information and knowledge through technology.

"I wish to pay tribute to the Nippon Foundation for its pioneering commitment to advancing inclusion and human rights, and I look forward to taking our partnership forward," said Irina Bokova.

The agreement signed at UNESCO Headquarters stipulates that both parties will work together to promote international cooperation, encourage the exchange of experience and showcase information and communication technologies' (ICT) solutions that contribute to the full empowerment and participation of women and men with disabilities.

One of the activities foreseen in the agreement concerns the possible planning of an Art Festival for disabled artists to be linked with the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo. Others areas to be explored concern training and awareness raising about disability issues and the effective application of inclusive ICTs among stakeholders including teachers, educational specialists, media, IT staff, policy and decision-makers, as well as representatives of civil society.

This partnership was singed before the opening a major conference at UNESCO, held on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, also supported by the Nippon Foundation. This builds on the ground-breaking conference held in New Delhi, India, in November 2014, resulting in the New Delhi Declaration on Inclusive ICTs for Persons with Disabilities, endorsed by Member States during the recent General Conference of UNESCO.