28 March 2008
Press Release

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





More than 20 United Nations departments, agencies, programmes and funds today pledged their support to implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Convention, which was opened for signing 30 March 2007, is only 3 ratifications short of the 20 needed to enter into force, when it will become an international legally binding document.  It is expected that the Convention will receive the necessary ratifications in order to take effect in May.

The recently formed Inter-Agency Support Group for the Convention issued a statement of commitment vowing to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity as laid out in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“The statement demonstrates our collective commitment to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities through their full inclusion in the work of the United Nations system,” says Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

Through the Group, the United Nations system will support planning and action in countries that are party to the new Convention and in supporting measures within the United Nations system to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in programmes and policies.  Primarily, the Group will concentrate its efforts on six main areas: policies to support the purpose and objectives of the Convention; programmes including international cooperation; capacity-building of Member States, civil society and the United Nations system; research and access to knowledge on disabilities; accessibility; and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

For more information on the Inter-Agency Support Group for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, contact Franck Kuwonu, tel.: +1 212 963 8264, e-mail: kuwonu@un.org; Nicola Shepherd, tel.: +1 917 367 9282, e‑mail: shepherdn@un.org; or Sayre Nyce, tel.: +1 917 367 8090, e-mail: nyce@un.org, or see http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=41&pid=323.

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For information media • not an official record