General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Negotiations on rights of people with disabilities hailed as one of most


worthy United Nations exercises at present time

Opening Sixth Session, Chairman of Ad Hoc Committee Urges Quicker Pace

Negotiations on the first-ever convention on the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities was one of the most worthy exercises before the United Nations and the international community at the present time, the Chairman of the United Nations body charged with that task said this morning.  

Opening the sixth session of the General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral Convention to Promote and Protect the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, Chairman Don MacKay ( New Zealand) said the Committee’s work would clearly have a huge impact on the lives of many. 

Recalling the progress made in the Committee’s past five sessions, he noted that the convention was long, running into 30 draft articles.  Moving a convention of that size along would require a huge commitment by all.  It was necessary to apply pressure to quicken the pace in order to enable the Committee to complete its work as soon as possible.  Every year without a completed convention was another year lost without implementation, and another year in which colleagues with disabilities did not have a convention enshrining their rights.

During its two-week session, the Committee will conduct a second reading of articles 15 to 24, which address issues such as children with disabilities, education, accessibility and personal mobility.  Those 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, from 24 January to 2 February, the Committee conducted informal discussions on articles 7 to 15.

Before moving to consideration of the draft text, the Committee elected Laoura Lazouras of South Africa as one of its Vice-Chairs.  It also adopted its agenda and programme of work, contained in documents A/AC.265/2005/L.3 and A/AC.265/2005/CRP.3, respectively.

For further information on the session, see Press Release SOC/4676 issued on 29 July.

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For information media • not an official record