Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO to commemorate International Day of Persons with Disabilities

23 November 2017


In Touch at the National Theatre in London
© Патрик Болдуин

Under the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies for all”, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation and the Inclusion Arts Centre, will celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 4 December 2017.

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated annually on 3 December around the world. IDPD mobilizes support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities, promotes awareness-raising about disability issues and draws attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all. UN agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector are encouraged to support IDPD by collaborating with organizations for people with disabilities to arrange events and activities.

This year’s theme embodies UNESCO’s vision to create resilient and sustainable societies building on the empowerment of persons with disabilities. UNESCO is convinced that the inclusion of persons with disabilities through arts, music, dance and other cultural expressions using digital tools is essential to meet the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “leave no one behind”.

UNESCO’s event will focus on the role of inclusive arts in creating sustainable and resilient societies, where persons with disabilities will be entirely integrated among the main actors. This event echoes the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), promotes the cultural rights of persons with disabilities to participate in cultural and artistic activities and recognizes their right to have the opportunity to develop and utilize their creative, artistic and intellectual potential. The artistic and cultural integration of persons with disabilities is interconnected with the improvements of other disability-related issues and gender equality.

The event’s agenda will include:

  • A high-level roundtable discussion on the role of inclusive arts for persons with disabilities, with speakers working in the fields of art and digital inclusion.
  • A theatrical performance by the artistic project group “In Touch”. In Touch is part of a long-term programme between the Inclusion Theatre Company and the State Theatre of Nations (Russian Federation), using the arts to connect deaf-blind, sighted and hearing people through professional theatre, humanitarian actions and cultural projects.
  • A concert by UNESCO Artist for Peace, Ms Zarifa Mgoyan. Ms Mgoyan, known as Zara, has a long-standing commitment to programmes helping people with disabilities. The aim of these charities and programmes is to involve children, who are visually impaired and hard of hearing, in artistic activities and to raise awareness of the difficulties they encounter.
  • A brief learning session of sign languages.

All participants are kindly requested to complete the online registration.

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in English, French and Russian.

More information is available on the official website of the event:

English :

French :

Russian :