2 September 2009
Deputy Secretary-General

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

United Nations Will Support National Efforts to Implement Disability Convention,

Deputy Secretary-General Assures Conference of States Parties

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s remarks at the opening of the Second Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York today, 2 September:

It is a pleasure to welcome you to this second Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  I am glad to note that while this is a Conference of States Parties, there is also ample representation today by other Member States and by civil society, particularly organizations of persons with disabilities.

Since the entry into force of the Convention in May 2008, 66 countries have ratified the Convention and 44 have ratified its Optional Protocol.  I am also pleased to acknowledge the 142 States that have signalled their commitment by becoming signatories to the Convention.  [Figures to be updated on 2 September.]

The Convention gives us a solid normative basis for advancing the human rights of the 650 million women, men and children around the world who live with disabilities –- and for enabling their full participation and inclusion in society.

Today’s gathering is devoted to legislative measures to implement the Convention.  Indeed, legislative measures and their monitoring is an integral part of the implementation strategy.  It is encouraging that a significant number of countries have already adopted new legislation and policies in line with the Convention or modified existing legislation.  I urge all participants to use today’s session to share experiences and exchange ideas for action.

This is a time of multiple, grave global challenges to development –- and therefore to the well-being of millions of persons with disabilities throughout the world.  I urge all Member States to continue their efforts towards signing, ratifying and implementing this important Convention and its Protocol without delay.  The United Nations is ready to support those efforts at the international, regional and national levels, including through the Inter-Agency Support Group for the Convention, which is finalizing a draft common strategy and plan of action.

I congratulate all who have worked so hard to bring us this far.  I hope that this Conference will pave the way for the realization of the Convention’s vital and admirable goals and objectives.

For information media • not an official record