Expo 2020 Dubai hosted talks and moderated panels on inclusion for the occasion. Photo for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), with an event at the Nexus for People and Planet venue, exploring issues such as inclusive accessibility, education, decent work, innovation and technology, and sport.

This year’s theme for IDPD, which is celebrated annually on December 3, is ‘Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world’.

Co-curated with the Ministry of Community Development and in partnership with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the ‘Shaping an Inclusive Future for All’ event featured talks by leaders in government and business, artists and athletes, to demonstrate the achievements of people of determination and showcase the ways individuals and organisations can work together to achieve inclusion.

Dina Storey, Head of Sustainability Operations at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “In line with inclusion being one of the UAE’s key values, the team behind Expo 2020 is diverse, inclusive and dedicated to the task of delivering an exceptional Expo for all to the world, with people of determination playing an important role in the event’s lead-up and delivery. Expo 2020 is proud to be hosting this event marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities and looks forward to sharing its outcomes with the world.”

Speakers at the event included Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development; Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director of The International Disability Alliance; Daniela Bas, Director of the Division for Inclusive Social Development, UN DESA; and Dr Victor Pineda, Founder and President, The Victor Pineda Foundation.

Success stories

The multi-format event included talks and moderated panels where participants shared success stories, partnerships and ecosystems that foster innovation and accelerate change by and for people of determination. Topics range from how to create a more accessible world for persons of determination to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Expo said it is committed to creating opportunities for people of determination. Playing an active role in shaping the entire Expo experience, people of determination are among Expo volunteers and employees, while the entire site has been designed to be accessible for all.