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4 December 2003, 09:26 am
International Day of Disabled Persons
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International Paralympic Committee

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed on 14 October 1992 that every year 3 December be observed as the International Day of Disabled Persons.
The Day was initially proclaimed to commemorate the anniversary of the General Assembly's adoption of the World Programme of Action concerning Persons with Disabilities to promote understanding about disability issues and to increase awareness of the integration of persons with a disability in every aspect of political, social economic and cultural life.

There are approximately 500 million people with a disability around the world, roughly 10% of the world population. Many of them practice sport on a recreational level. Physical activity, from rehabilitation to elite sport, gives people with a disability the opportunity to reach their potential, achieve self-determination and have fun. Contributing to the integration of people into society, sport can make a difference in everybody's life.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is one of the largest sport organizations in the world. Representing the vast majority of athletes with a disability, it has taken sport to a new and higher level - providing unique opportunities from a developmental to an elite sport level (Paralympic Games). Specific programmes are aimed at increasing the participation of women and athletes with severe disabilities and at encouraging educational, cultural and scientific activities. The IPC will pursue its mission to engage more people with a disability from around the world in sport - all athletes, without any discrimination, should be able to perform to the best of their abilities. Therefore, the IPC wants to enhance training conditions, equipment and other resources available to athletes.

This year's motto is "A voice of our own". It aims to mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with a disability.
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