Volume 14, No.9 - September 2010

Global dialogue on development

Advancing inclusion of persons with disabilities

States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will gather from 1-3 September in New York for the third time

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 61/106 of 13 December 2006. Article 40 of the Convention stipulates that “The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention.”

The first meeting of States Parties was held on 31 October and 3 November 2008, where the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was formally established and its members elected. The Conference also considered matters related to the Convention, and held a panel discussion on “The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a human rights instrument and a tool for achieving the Millennium Development Goals”. The Committee’s membership comprises of 12 independent experts tasked to monitor the implementation of the Convention.

The States Parties to the Convention convened their second conference from 2-4 September. The participants in the conference discussed legislative measures to implement the Convention. Non-governmental organizations participated along with Governments in an informal session on emerging issues related to the global economic crisis, poverty and the implementation of the Convention.

The third session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be held under the theme: “Implementing the Convention through Advancing Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities”, and will begin with the election of members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and include substantive roundtable discussions and an interactive informal session with civil society.

Elections of the members of the Committee will be held in accordance with article 34 of the Convention. As the total number of ratifications has passed 80, the membership of the Committee will increase by six to a total of 18 members. Additional elections will be held for the six members whose term expires in 2010.

Please note that the upcoming election of the members of the Committee is being coordinated and administered by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of Legal Affairs.

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MDG Summit to precede general debate of the General Assembly’s 65th session

General debate which provides Heads of State and Government the opportunity to express their views on major international issues, gets underway on 23 September in New York

With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs, the Summit held on 20-22 September “will be a crucially important opportunity to redouble our efforts to meet the Goals,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon referring to the targets adopted at the UN Millennium Summit of 2000, aimed at slashing poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths and other ills by the 2015 deadline.

The High-level Plenary Meeting on MDGs will consist of six plenary meetings, on the basis of two meetings a day, and six interactive round-table sessions to be held in concurrence with plenary meetings regarding several topics: poverty, hunger and gender equality, health and education, promoting sustainable development, addressing emerging issues and evolving approaches, addressing the special needs of the most vulnerable and widening and strengthening partnerships.

The MDG Summit will be followed by the General Debate on the theme “Reaffirming the central role of the United Nations in global governance” on 23-25 September and 27-30 where Heads of State and Government will express their views on the theme.

High-level meeting on Biodiversity

In addition to the MDG Summit, a High-level meeting of the General Assembly as a contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity will be held on 22 September. The meeting will be chaired by the President of the 65th session of the General Assembly. The panels will be co-chaired by Heads of State and Government at the invitation of the President of the 64th session on the basis of equitable geographical representation.

The President of the General Assembly will prepare a summary of the discussions during the high-level meeting for presentation at the closing plenary meeting and for transmission, under his authority, to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Mauritius Strategy +5 Review

The Mauritius Strategy +5 Review (Five-year review of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States) will be held on 24-25 September.

The review should provide the international community with an opportunity to conduct a thorough assessment of the progress made, lessons learned and constraints encountered in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation and to agree on what needs to be done to further address the vulnerabilities of small island developing States.

65th session of the General Assembly

At its 65th session, the Assembly will address the promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development, maintenance of international peace and security, development of Africa, promotion of human rights, justice and international law; effective coordination of humanitarian assistance efforts, disarmament; drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations; and other organizational, administrative and other matters.

Second and Third Committee

The Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) and the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) will discuss the items on the agenda related to economic questions and social and humanitarian issues, respectively. The Committees seek where possible to harmonize the various approaches of States, and present their recommendations, usually in the form of draft resolutions and decisions, to a plenary meeting of the Assembly for its consideration.

The Assembly’s Second Committee – dealing with the economic and financial aspects of development – will convene starting on 4 October. DESA’s has planned a number of side events including panel discussion. The Assembly’s Third Committee – dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural matters – will also convene on 4 October to discuss items questions relating to advancement of women, youth, ageing, the disabled, humanitarian assistance and related issues.

The Assembly is the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN, a forum for multilateral negotiation. While it is empowered to make only non-binding recommendations to States on international issues within its competence, it has, nevertheless, initiated actions – political, economic, humanitarian, social and legal – which have affected the lives of millions of people throughout the world. The Millennium Declaration, adopted in 2000, and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, for example, reflected the commitment of Member States to reach goals to achieve development, poverty eradication, promote the rule of law, meet the special needs of Africa and protect the environment.

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