About 650 million people around the world live with a disability, with many excluded from fully participating in the economic, social, and political lives of their communities. On 10 May, an important milestone was reached as Colombia became the 100th country to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The ratification was hailed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who stated: “The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a powerful tool for inclusion and development. Let us use it to make concrete improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities.”
Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General of DESA, which is the UN department serving as the Secretariat for the Convention, also welcomed this ratification stating: “This is a great achievement by the international community in working towards a just and equitable society, based on equality and equal opportunity for all, including persons with disabilities.”
It was in 2006 that the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention in an effort to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the same human rights as everyone else. Eighty-two countries signed immediately – the highest number for a UN treaty in history.