30 March 2008 More than 20 United Nations departments, agencies, programmes, and funds have pledged their support to implementing a landmark treaty on the human rights of persons with disabilities, which opened for signature a year ago today.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was adopted by the General Assembly in December 2006 along with its Optional Protocol, is only three ratifications short of the 20 needed to enter into force and become an internationally legally binding document.
In a statement issued today, the Inter-Agency Support Group for the Convention vowed 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.
“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,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang.
Through the newly-formed group, the UN system will support measures both in countries that are party to the Convention and within the Organization itself to implement the treaty's provisions and ensure the rights of the world's 650 million persons with disabilities.
Support will focus 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 UN system; research and access to knowledge on disabilities; accessibility; and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
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