Press Release




Delegates drafting the first-ever convention on the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities will continue negotiations at a two-week session to be held from 24 January to 4 February at United Nations Headquarters (Conference †Room 4).

Meeting for its fifth session, the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities will consider the revisions and amendments to the Conventionís draft text proposed at its third and fourth sessions.

It will continue informal consultations on draft articles 1 to 15 and 24 bis, and review articles 16 to 24, which address issues such as children with disabilities, education, accessibility and personal mobility.† These articles also cover the rights to health and rehabilitation, the right to work, social security and adequate standards of living, and participation in political and public life, cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport.

At its previous session, held from 23 August to 3 September 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee concluded a first reading of the draft text, and conducted a review of articles 1 to 15 and 24 bis.† To facilitate access for persons with disabilities, the Committee invited the General Assembly to examine issues of accessibility to United Nations premises, technology and documents.

A major aspect of the drafting of the Convention is the participation of national human rights institutions and disability non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world.† Some 500 representatives of disability organizations are expected to attend the session.

At its first session in 2002, the Committee decided that representatives from accredited NGOs could attend its public meetings, make statements and presentations, and provide material to delegations.† At its last session, the Committee decided to invite intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and national human rights institutions to also attend its informal consultations and closed meetings, while stating that some meetings might be closed to such organizations.

Lunchtime side events will feature presentations by delegations, disability organizations United Nations bodies and others, on issues such as international accessibility standards, inclusive development, Internet accessibility, and human rights treaty monitoring.† Matthew Sapolin, Executive Director of New York Cityís Mayorís Office for People with Disabilities, will illustrate the initiatives the Cityís administrators have taken to enhance independent living and social integration for New Yorkers with disabilities (for a list of side events, see www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/ahc5sideevents.htm).

For information, visit www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable or contact Edoardo Bellando, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.:† (212) 963-8275, e-mail: bellando@un.org.

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