Seventy-third session

Agenda item 74

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 17 December 2018 [on the report of the Third Committee (A/73/589)] 73/161.

World Braille Day

The General Assembly,

Recognizing that multilingualism, as a core value of the Organization, contributes to the achievement of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as set out in Articles 1 and 2 of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recognizing also that the United Nations pursues multilingualism as a means of promoting, protecting and preserving diversity of languages and cultures globally, as well as of improving the efficiency, performance and transparency of the Organization,

Reaffirming its resolutions 53/199 of 15 December 1998 and 61/185 of 20 December 2006 on the proclamation of international years and Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67 of 25 July 1980 on international years and anniversaries, particularly paragraphs 1 to 10 of the annex thereto on the agreed criteria for the proclamation of international years, and paragraphs 13 and 14, in which it is stated that an international day or year should not be proclaimed before the basic arrangements for its organization and financing have been made,

Recalling the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights1 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,1

1 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

2 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2515, No. 44910.

Recalling also that Braille is a means of communication for blind persons, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,2 and can be relevant in the contexts of education, freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information and written communication, as well as in the context of social inclusion for blind persons, as reflected in articles 21 and 24 of the Convention,

Recognizing that Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number, and even musical, mathematical and scientific symbols,

Recognizing also that Braille is used by blind and partially sighted people to read the same books and periodicals as those printed in a visual font,

Affirming that the use of Braille by individuals who are blind or partially sighted ensures the communication of important information to them and others and represents competency, independence and equality,

Affirming also that, because the importance of well-developed literacy skills on the part of all individuals is reflected in the value placed on reading and writing in schools and throughout society, instruction in literacy skills can justifiably be considered the cornerstone of education and an important tool in the fight against poverty,

Recognizing that promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of access to written language is a critical prerequisite to the full realization of human rights for blind and partially sighted people,

1. Decides to proclaim 4 January as World Braille Day, to be observed each year beginning in 2019, in order to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people;

2. Invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, other international organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Braille Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Braille as a means of communication;

3. Encourages Member States to take measures throughout society to raise awareness of Braille as a means of communication;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States and organizations of the United Nations system;

5. Stresses that the cost of all activities that may arise from the implementation of the present resolution should be met from voluntary contributions.

55th plenary meeting 17 December 2018.

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