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News & Updates

  • Writer's pictureUN-Habitat India

Side Event on Building Accessible and Inclusive Cities and Communities in Asia and the Pacific

Date & Venue: 28 March 2023, 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm GMT+7 | UNCC, Bangkok


  • United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)


  • Ministry of National Development Planning/BAPPENAS, Republic of Indonesia

Cities and communities throughout the Asia-Pacific region are not adequately accessible for persons with disabilities, limiting their abilities to live independently with dignity and to meaningfully engage in society. The Asia-Pacific region has made great strides in disability-inclusive development in recent decades and can build on this success to create more accessible and inclusive cities and communities. The Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Jakarta Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023-2032, provide a pathway to guide this work.

As persons with disabilities are the experts on their own experiences, national and local governments should ensure the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations (OPDs) throughout the entire development planning and project implementation cycle to understand their needs in creating inclusive communities. An understanding of disability at all levels and in all sectors of governance is key to achieving universal accessibility.

United Nations entities will continue to support governments to fulfill their commitments under existing global and regional frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure that both urban and rural areas are inclusive and accessible for persons with disabilities in terms of physical and digital environments and services.

The panellists and participants of the side event identified the following key messages and recommendations:

  • Ensure universal accessibility and disability inclusion in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific. Develop innovative assistive technologies and ensure disability inclusion is mainstreamed in all sectors, including mobility, WASH, ICT, and in the skilling of future urban and rural community planners.

  • Mainstream disability inclusion across different levels of governance mechanisms and incorporate the rights of persons with disabilities into policies, plans, and laws to enable a whole-of-government approach to disability inclusion.

  • Establish forums, platforms, and stakeholder networks to engage and build capacities of persons with disabilities and key stakeholders to consult, discuss, and identify the actual needs of persons with disabilities throughout the entire city/community development planning and project implementation cycles. Utilise participatory approaches to ensure the effective and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in decision-making, budgeting, and programming processes.

  • Recognise the disproportionate impact of disasters and climate change on persons with disabilities and incorporate their unique needs into disaster risk reduction and management strategies and planning in cities and rural communities.

  • Facilitate the collection, analysis, and management of data, which is disaggregated by age, gender, disability, and rural/urban to understand the situations of persons with diverse disabilities and inform inclusive policymaking, planning, budgeting, implementation, and monitoring & evaluation processes.

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