Final report of the Special Rapporteur of the
Final report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission for Social Development on monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
A. Human rights and disability
The major international non-governmental organizations in the disability field were, from the very beginning, actively involved in the elaboration of the Standard Rules. Even though some parts of the Rules were agreed upon through compromise, it is important to note that the international non-governmental organizations fully supported the adoption of the Rules.
The unique form of cooperation, where non-governmental organizations, upon the invitation of the United Nations, established a panel of experts to serve as part of the monitoring exercise, meant a direct involvement of those organizations in the actual monitoring process.
The six international non-governmental organizations represented in the panel and a considerable number of other organizations have organized many different activities to support the implementation of the Rules. Several organizations have assembled users' guides and information kits to assist member organizations in the utilization of the Rules. Those materials are being extensively used both on national and regional levels.
The Rules have been presented in articles in many of the organization magazines. In some cases series of articles have been published.
At practically all important events organized by the major non-governmental organizations, the issue of implementing the Standard Rules has been part of the programme.
The major non-governmental organizations have worked together at all the recent world conferences organized by the United Nations, including the Social Summit, to ensure that the implementation of the Standard Rules was included in declarations and reports issued by those conferences.
The following quotation from subparagraph 75 (k) of the report of the World Summit for Social Development may serve as an example of what was obtained through those activities:
"75. Governmental responses to special needs of social groups should include:
"(k) Promoting the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and developing strategies for implementing the Rules. Governments, in collaboration with organizations of people with disabilities and the private sector, should work towards the equalization of opportunities so that people with disabilities can contribute to and benefit from full participation in society. Policies concerning people with disabilities should focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities and should ensure their dignity as citizens".1
The non-governmental organizations have brought up the issue of integrating the disability component, built on the Standard Rules, into the mainstream activities of the various United Nations agencies.
1 Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 6-12 March 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. 96.IV.8), chap. 4, sect. D, para. 75 (k)).