To mark the International Day of People with Disabilities (3 December), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Office for Human Rights) have signed a historic Cooperation Agreement to collaborate on several initiatives that will promote the rights of people with disabilities.
As part of an agreement signed by IPC President Andrew Parsons and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the two organizations will work together with several other like-minded organizations to launch a global communications campaign for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo next year, which will aim to change global attitudes towards disability and advance the human rights agenda.
The IASC and the UN Human Rights Office will also explore opportunities for closer cooperation in the areas of strategy and policy development, research, communication and promotion of people with disabilities. This includes exploring how the UN Human Rights Office can contribute to the IPC Integration Summit to be held during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Andrew Parsons, President of the IPC:
“With the Paralympic Games firmly in the third largest sporting event in the world, we want the Tokyo Games to become not just a showcase for spectacular sports, but also a platform to advance the human rights agenda for people with disabilities.
With a combined TV audience of about 4.25 billion people in more than 150 countries who will be watching the Paralympic Games next year, we want to use the Paralympic Games, as well as the growing voice and personalities of Paralympians, to help change global attitudes towards the world’s one billion people with disabilities and create greater opportunities for the largest marginalized community on this planet.
Working with the UN Office for Human Rights and some other organizations that share our goal, we want to put disability at the center of the diversity and inclusion agenda. We want to challenge the stereotype associated with disability and empower social transformation. This can only be achieved by highlighting the problems that people with disabilities face on a daily basis and by giving them the opportunity to defend their human rights.
The Paralympic Games really showed that change starts with sport, and we hope to use future Games, not just Tokyo 2020, to empower social transformation and create a more inclusive society for all.”
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Creating a solid civic space is one of my main concerns. The partnership with the International Paralympic Committee not only expands the reach of the UN Human Rights Office to the wider community of people with disabilities, but also opens the door to strengthening the impact of both of our organizations, and I look forward to our collaboration.”
As part of the IPC’s drive to use Paralympic sport to advance the human rights agenda for people with disabilities, the organization has also signed cooperation agreements with the Disability Alliance and The Valuable 500, with new partnerships to be announced in the coming months.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) is the UN’s leading human rights office. It represents a worldwide commitment to the promotion and protection of the full range of human rights and freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The IPC, founded in 1989, is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. His vision is to make the world more inclusive through Paralympic sport, while his mission is to lead the Paralympic Movement, oversee the running of the Paralympic Games, and support membership organizations to enable Paralympians to achieve sporting results.