The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee staged a ceremony at the Village Plaza in the Paralympic Village during which a Paralympic Mural was inaugurated.
The ceremony was attended by IPC President Andrew Parsons, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto, Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike and Tokyo 2020 Village Mayor Saburo Kawabuchi.
The participants pledged to take the opportunity of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo to further promote the realisation of a society inspired by the motto of ‘Unity in Diversity’, a society where there is no discrimination against people with disabilities.
Ⓒ Tokyo 2020
Athletes and others involved in the Paralympic Games will be able to sign the Mural in order to show their support for the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and their support for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Parsons said: “Following this inauguration this mural will showcase Unity in Diversity. Paralympic athletes of all nations, all genders, all ages, all religions, and all impairments will come together and show their support for how the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will change society forever. That is why at the IPC we truly believe Change Starts with Sport."
Earlier this week, the IPC launched WeThe15, a 10-year-long campaign which aspires to be the biggest ever human rights movement to represent the world’s 1.2 billion persons with disabilities.
The Murals were made using a traditional Japanese construction method called ‘tsugite’, in which different pieces of wood, each with a unique shape, are combined and connected. They aim to serve as a reminder of the importance of recognising “celebrating diversity, connecting people, and bringing harmony”.
Kawabuchi said: “There are no differences in nationality, gender or impairments. I believe that if we can create this Paralympic Village where everyone accepts and respects each other's differences and individuality as a matter of course, the world will change in the same way. And I also believe that the signs of support and statements of the Paralympians gathering here, along with the Paralympic Murals, will be a message that will surely reach the 1.2 billion people with impairments around the world.”
The Paralympic Mural will be on display until the day the Paralympic Village closes, and will subsequently be exhibited and stored at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government facilities.