International Day of Persons with Disabilities
3 December marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, with the theme "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) towards 2015 and beyond". The Day focused on what community-based rehabilitation (CBR) can do to include people with disabilities in development processes. WHO supported activities in New York, Washington and Geneva.
In New York, the celebrations were opened with a statement from the UN Secretary-General, ambassadors of Mexico, the Philippines and Tanzania as well as a WHO representative from the WHO New York office, Dr Werner Obermeyer. This was followed by an interactive panel discussion on CBR and the MDGs with Akiko Ito (UN Department of Economic and Social affairs), Alana Officer and Chapal Khasnabis (WHO), Alexsandra Posarac (World Bank), Karen Heinicke-Motsch (CBM/International Disability and Development Consortium) and Maria Veronica Reiner (Global Partnership on Disability and Development). Specific questions about implementing CBR were answered in a more in-depth workshop in the afternoon run by WHO and IDDC. In all events, the first promotional video announcing the launch of the World report on disability scheduled for 9 June 2011 was broadcast.