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The Asia-Pacific region is home to  more than 700 million persons with disabilities who face significant barriers to full and  participation in society. To advance disability rights and disability-inclusive development, members of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific  (ESCAP) initiated three consecutive Asian and Pacific Decades of Persons with Disabilities, starting in 1993. The first two Decades contributed to the shift of viewing persons with disabilities as rights holders and also spurred regional momentum, which laid the initial foundation for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Building on the achievements of the previous two Decades, ESCAP member States proclaimed the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013−2022 and adopted the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific in 2012 with 10 disability-specific development goals. The Beijing Declaration, adopted in 2017, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy, specifies a set of policy actions to be taken by Governments, civil society stakeholders and ESCAP under each goal of the Incheon Strategy.

At the end of the third Decade, ESCAP conducted a final review of its implementation to assess the current state of disability-inclusive development in Asia and the Pacific and renew the regional commitment to “make the right real” for persons with disabilities. The Jakarta Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023−2032 was adopted at the high-level intergovernmental meeting on the final review of the third Decade held in Jakarta and online in October 2022. This Declaration provides further guidance for the region in meeting the pledge of leaving no one behind through disability-inclusive development.

Against this background, the objective of this publication is to take stock of the progress made and remaining challenges with regard to disability-inclusive development in Asia and the Pacific. The latest data and practices undertaken by governments, civil society organizations and international organizations have been collated to inform innovative policymaking and programming on disability-related issues.