GFDD and Fundación Francina Hungría Attend 9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with DisabilitiesJune 17, 2016
Together with hundreds of disability advocates and government delegates, GFDD and its esteemed partner Fundación Francina Hungría participated in the 9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), one of the largest and most diverse international meetings on disability in the world from June 14-16, 2016
at United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
The theme of this year””s Conference was “Implementing the 2030 development agenda for all persons with disabilities: Leaving no one behind”. The sub themes of the conference were eliminating poverty and inequality for all persons with disabilities, promoting the rights of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities, enhancing accessibility to information and technology and inclusive development,
celebrating the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD.
Marking the 10th anniversary of a United Nations treaty that protects the rights of persons with disabilities, senior UN officials highlighted the critical role people with disabilities play as invaluable partners to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon stated in a video message “Let us work together for a world of opportunity and dignity for all, a future of inclusion, one in which we all gain by leaving no one behind”.
The UN Chef de Cabinet, Edmond Mulet, highlighted some of the progress made in
recent years, such as disability-inclusive strategies being featured in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, while most recently at the World Humanitarian Summit stakeholders highlighted the importance of furthering humanitarian actions that are responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities.
General Assembly President, H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft impressed on participants that “In today’s world success is not solely limited to the
world of governments alone” before calling on “all major stakeholders to work together through multi-stakeholder initiatives to empower the 1 billion people with disabilities.”
Ms. Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Chairperson of the Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reminded the delegates that under the new development agenda, “partnerships that are needed to ensure no one is left behind should include private
businesses and civil society to ensure a cross cutting view on disability”.
In accordance with Article 34 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, States Parties elected the following members to the Committee on the Rights of Persons: Mr. Ahmad Alsaif (Saudi Arabia) Mr. Monthian Buntan (Thailand) Mr. Imed Eddine Chaker (Tunisia) Mr. Jun Ishikawa (Japan) Mr. Samuel Njuguna Kabue (Kenya) Mr. Laszlo Gabor Lovaszy (Hungary) Mr. Robert George
Martin (New Zealand) Mr. Martin Babu Mwesigwa (Uganda) and Mr. Valery Nikitich Rukhledev (Russian Federation).
Participants met over the next three days to debate issues connected to the sub themes of the conference, including eliminating poverty and inequality for all persons with disabilities, promoting the rights of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities, enhancing accessibility to information and technology and inclusive development and celebrating the 10th
anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD.
GFDD, represented by its UN Programs Manager, Marc Jourdan, and Fundación Francina Hungría founder, Francina Hungría, also attended numerous side events held in parallel to the main negotiations covering issues from the leadership role of women with disabilities, to putting the CRPD Article 9 on accessibility into practice at
the regional and national level. Commenting on the desired structure of accessibility legislation, David Capozzil from the US Access Board highlighted the “need to have an enforcement policy” as an important component to any accessibility scheme. He explained that this was how they had given “teeth” to US legislative provision such as Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act (legislation specifying the requirements for accessible Electronic and
Information Technology that each federal agency need to follow), by providing it with “guidelines and enforcement mechanisms”.
The Conference was the first UN gathering on disability since the adoption of the SDGs in September 2015. Disability is referenced in various parts of the SDGs’ targets, including in relation to education (to ensure equal access to all levels of education, including for persons with disabilities); growth and
employment (to promote decent work and equal pay for all); inequality (as Goal 10 calls for the empowerment and inclusion of all regardless of any status including disability), accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs.
For detailed summary of the 1st to the 6th meetings of the ninth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities please check the UN Journal.
About the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the General Assembly by its resolution 61/106 of 13 December 2006. It came into force on 3 May 2008 upon the 20th ratification. Article 40 of the Convention stipulates that
“The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention.” Since 2008, eight sessions of the Conference of States Parties have been held at United Nations Headquarters, New York.