Development and human rights for all

From Concept to Reality: Promoting Universal Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

United Nations Commemorative Event for Entry into Force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol

 United Nations General Assembly Hall
12 May 2008

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities received its 20th ratification on 3 April 2008, triggering the entry into force of the Convention and its Optional Protocol 30 days later. This marks a major milestone in the effort to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. On 12 May 2008, a commemorative event at United Nations headquarters in New York celebrated the entry into force. According to United Nations officials, the rapid coming into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, which was opened for signature on 30 March 2007, is due to the strong commitment of United Nations member countries as well as advocacy by organizations of persons with disabilities, who were instrumental in drafting the Convention. Adopted by the General Assembly in December 2006, the Convention was one of the fastest treaties ever negotiated at the United Nations.

Message from the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability,  Hissa Al Thani 
Watch the video of the commemorative event [English]
Watch the video of the commemorative event [Original language]

Introduction:
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Mr. Sha Zukang

Facilitators:
Mr. Johan Schölvinck, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development (UN DESA)
Mr. William Rowland, International Disability Alliance CRPD Forum

Opening Message President of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly
H.E. Ambassador Srgjan Kerim

Human Rights, Development and Social Progress for All
Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Watch Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's statement on video

Messages for the Global Community
H.R.H. Prince Ra’ad Bin Zeid of Jordan
Ms. Vivian Fernández de Torríjos, First Lady of Panama  
Mrs. Jeannette Sánchez, Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion, Ecuador
Ms. Susan Van der Merwe, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa

Making Development a Reality for All
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Sha Zukang

Universal Human Rights: Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Kyung-wha Kang

Convention and Inclusive Society
Mr. Lex Grandia, Chair of International Disability Alliance CRPD Forum

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: From Concept to Reality
H.E. Mr. Luis Gallegos, Ecuador
Mr. Gilberto Rincón Gallardo, Mexico
H.E. Mrs. Rosemary Banks, New Zealand

Human Rights in Action (regional dimensions)
Mr. György Könczei (Hungary)
Mr. Muhammad Ali Sorcar (Bangladesh)
Mr. Juan Carlos Ramiro (Spain)

United Nations System: Our Efforts to Promote the Convention
Message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura,  Director-General of UNESCO
Message from Mr. Robert Gray of UNPFA

UNICEF
UN Postal Administration

Closing Call for Action: Breathing Life into the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Special thanks to harpist Myra Kovary, a member of the disability community, and to the Association for Promoting Inclusion and WITNESS for the DVD “Living Proof: The Right to Live in the Community”.