To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) have signed a landmark Co-operation Agreement to collaborate on several initiatives that will further the rights of persons with disabilities. As part of an agreement signed by IPC President Andrew Parsons and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the two organisations will work together with several other like-minded organisations to deliver a global communications campaign around next year’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games that aims to change global attitudes towards disability and further the human rights agenda.
The IPC and UN Human Rights will also explore possibilities for closer co-operation with regards to strategy and policy development, research, communication and the promotion of persons of disabilities. This includes exploring how UN Human Rights can contribute towards the IPC Inclusion Summit that will be held during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “With the Paralympics firmly established as the world’s third biggest sport event, we want Tokyo 2020 to be more than just a showcase of spectacular sport, but a platform to advance the human rights agenda for persons with disabilities. With a cumulative TV audience of around 4.25 billion in more than 150 countries set to watch next year’s Paralympics, we want to use Para sport and the growing voice and profiles of Para athletes to help change global attitudes towards the world’s one billion persons with disabilities and create greater opportunities for this planet’s largest marginalised community.
“By partnering with UN Human Rights and several like-minded organisations we want to place disability at the heart of the diversity and inclusion agenda. We want to challenge the stigma attached to disability and empower social transformation. This can only be achieved by highlighting the challenges persons with disabilities face on a daily basis and by empowering them to claim their human rights. The Paralympics really have shown that change starts with sport, and we hope to use future editions of the Games, not just to Tokyo 2020, to empower social transformation and make for a more inclusive society for all.”
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “Building a robust civic space is one of my main concerns. The partnership with the International Paralympic Committee not only expands our outreach to a larger community of persons with disabilities, it opens the door to a strengthened impact of both of our organisations, I look forward to our collaboration.”
As part of the IPC’s push to use Para sport to advance the human rights agenda for persons with disabilities, the organisation has also signed Co-operation Agreements with the International Disability Alliance and The Valuable 500, with more partnerships set to be announced in the coming months. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) is the leading UN entity on human rights. It represents the world’s commitment to the promotion and protection of the full range of human rights and freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Founded in 1989, the IPC is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. Its vision is to make for a more inclusive world through Para sport, while its mission is to lead the Paralympic Movement, oversee the delivery of the Paralympic Games and support members to enable Para athletes to achieve sporting excellence.
• This media release was published by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on 2 December 2020. Click here for the original.