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On the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, UN urges to Leave No One Behind

Port Moresby, 2 December 2016 - Every year on December 3, countries all around the world celebrate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

Today, the world population is over 7 billion people. More than one billion people, approximately 15 per cent of the world's population, live with some form of disability, including in Papua New Guinea. With life expectancy rates increasing in most countries, it is also evident that more people worldwide will experience some form of disability at some time in our lives.

Most people living with disabilities are supported by their families in a variety of ways. People living with disabilities generally have poorer health and life expectancy, lower levels of formal education, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty, than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of opportunities and services available to them like health, education, housing, training and employment. People with disabilities also have less access to information and communications technology, justice, transportation and other essential things that most people take for granted.
Evidence and experience shows that when barriers are removed - persons with disabilities become empowered to participate fully in life and this contributes to and benefits societies.
“The Sustainable Development Goals urge us to leave no one behind. The Global Goals have many targets that are highly relevant to persons with disabilities. We must work together to transform these commitments into practical action” said Roy Trivedy, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative.

“We need to strengthen policies and practices to ensure that all citizens benefit from the country’s development. This requires improving our knowledge on the challenges faced by men, women and children with disabilities and ensuring that they have access to all necessary services and opportunities. Together with all persons with disabilities, we can move our world forward by leaving no one behind” he added.
Photo caption: Roy Trivedy visiting Cheshire Disability Center in Port Moresby.
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