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Back to: Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee

Daily summary of discussion at the third session
4 June 2004

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UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Ad Hoc Committee Daily Summary
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Volume 4, #9
June 4, 2004

Commenced: 10:17 AM
Recessed for informals: 10:48 AM
Reconvened: 11:15 AM
Adjourned: 12:55 PM

Procedural issues regarding the negotiating text for these last 2 sessions were discussed at length. The Committee reached consensus to proceed with the postponed reading of the Preamble of the WG draft text, instead of Articles 1 and 2 of the “Non-paper” titled Consolidation of proposals for Articles 1 and 2 of the Draft Text of the WG of the AHC (henceforth: “Consolidated Text”).

The Chair drew the attention of the Committee to Article 1, Purpose, of the Consolidated Text, and the Proposed Modifications to the WG Text from which the Consolidated Text had been formulated by a technical group. The Chair presented the Committee with 2 options: to send the Consolidated Text to their home capitals for review, or to proceed with comments on this Text at this time.

Ireland, on behalf of the European Union (EU) noted while the Consolidated Text will be reviewed carefully by the EU, it had some preliminary reactions to this. It reiterated its preference for retaining the language in the WG draft text, because to “ensure,” is stronger than to “promote, protect and fulfill” the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights. Furthermore, grammatically, the “enjoyment” of rights cannot be “fulfilled.”

South Africa, on behalf of Africa Group, called for the consideration of items which were deferred until the next AHC meeting, such as the Preamble, Monitoring, or structure. It needed to consult its capital “before it can endorse a new process”. In taking this position it highlighted the Group’s firm support for this Convention process since its inception, when there was less consensus from other states.

Ireland (EU) took the position that the previous day's decision to conclude this third session of the AHC with discussion of Article 1 and 2 of the Consolidated Text should be followed. It is important to take the negotiation process beyond what had already been achieved in this first reading so as to make progress. The Committee had decided to defer consideration of the Preamble and Monitoring topics until the August AHC. It is inappropriate and counterproductive to change yesterday’s decision.

Sierra Leone supported South Africa's proposal, without prejudice to any other decisions made, because it views the Preamble as vital. The AHC should at this stage take comments and amendments on the Preamble, complete this, and proceed with a second reading in August.

Israel supported South Africa’s proposal and favored proceeding with the remainder of the Draft Text of the WG, especially Monitoring, the most important part of the Convention. It requests reconsideration of yesterday’s decision to create momentum to advance this Convention.

Japan requested the Chair confer with the Bureau and come to a decision, in order to avoid wasting time in the Committee discussing procedural issues.

Mexico stated that yesterday’s decision to defer six major clusters (title, structure, preamble, definitions, monitoring mechanism, and final clauses) was not objected to by any delegation. It is not prepared to discuss these issues since they were deferred. Yesterday’s sole issue was whether today’s meeting would be open or closed to NGOs. No one questioned the Chair’s proposal to begin negotiations of Article 1 and 2. It does not support suspension of the meeting so that the Bureau may meet yet again. The decision has been made to discuss Article 1 and 2. It was now up to the Chair.

Russian Federation supported South Africa’s proposal because States must take the first reading back to their capitals to analyze language.

Burkina Faso supported South Africa because the AHC decided, on the first day, to return later to the preamble, monitoring and structure.

Syria also supported South Africa because it has received no direction from its capital about the Articles already discussed.

Jordan believed it was important to discuss Articles 1 and 2 as practice for next session as had been decided yesterday. Some delegations have left. It inquired as to why States wanted input from their capitals at this point because everything must be taken back. Discussing procedural issues was taking up valuable time.

China favored a discussion of Articles 1 and 2 at this session but expressed sympathy for South Africa’s proposal. The text is new to many delegations. It hoped the Chair would consult the Bureau to make future work go smoothly.

India agreed with South Africa’s proposal because it believes it would be difficult to return to Articles 1 and 2 without discussing all of the Convention first, including monitoring which is key to implementation. It also needs to take the Proposed Modifications back to its government before a second reading.

Yemen pointed out that it would take more time than the AHC now has to discuss all the deferred issues. It is ready to take part in any discussions, but some delegations have left so a full input from the Committee would not be possible.

Eritrea supported South Africa and called on the AHC to use its time fruitfully and end on a positive note.

Zambia also supported South Africa's proposal.

The Chair recessed to convene a meeting of the Bureau aimed at reconciling these 2 views. Based on the majority support for South Africa's proposal, the Bureau requested that the Committee rescind yesterday’s decision to postpone the Preamble discussion, and join in a consensus so that today’s work could move forward.

Mexico supported the Chair’s original decision and will support today’s new decision. However, it expressed frustration with the change in direction and the lack of consensus. It noted that it could not participate meaningfully in today’s discussion due to lack of notice and preparation.

Cuba supported the Chair’s proposal to move forward. It also requested cessation of procedural discussions and future procedural clarity to avoid waste of time and financial resources. It stressed the importance of finalizing the work in the time allotted.

Yemen supported any decision made by the Chair. However, discussing the Preamble today would not be efficient and, because many delegations have left or have not had time to prepare, it would prevent full participation on an important part of the Convention.

Israel supported continuing work on the Preamble as proposed by the Chair, which might be difficult but would move the work forward.

South Africa concurred that it was important to move the work forward. It stated: “The African Group has no other agenda except to ensure that finally PWD can enjoy their full human rights.”

EU expressed concern about the lengthy procedural discussion, and the fact that some delegations have left when the AHC was still continuing its work. It agreed to work on the Preamble in the interest of progress, but expressed a preference for discussing Articles 1 and 2 as agreed in the last session. It still insists that NGOs be allowed to participate in discussions about Articles 1 and 2 and other matters.

Costa Rica supported the Chair, but expressed deep concern about the decision. While ready to discuss the Preamble, Costa Rica had concerns that reversing yesterday’s decision sets a precedent of making exceptions to the rule on a procedural matter.


Ireland (EU) circulated its proposed amendments. The Convention Title should read: “International Convention on the Full and Equal Enjoyment of all Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by Persons with Disabilities,” in order to focus on those ideas. In Preamble (c), (P(c)), because PWD are already guaranteed the full enjoyment of human rights under other Conventions, it proposed replacing “the need for PWD to be” with “and that PWD are.” The revised paragraph would read: “Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and that PWD are guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination.” It proposed deleting from P(d), “and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families,” because this has not reached the same status as the others listed and is not a core human rights document. In P(f), it proposed replacing “violation of” with “affront to” because violations refer to rights not dignity. It suggested replacing, in the first clause of P(h), “the efforts and actions” with “these various instruments and undertakings.” It proposed replacing P(i) with the language of footnote 4: “Recognising the importance of international cooperation for improving the living conditions of PWD in every country, in particular in the developing countries.” In P(j), it suggested removing “and the eradication of poverty” because P(j) already discusses significant advances in the human, social, and economic development which includes eradicating poverty. In P(m), it proposed the deletion of the words “forms of,” and inclusion of “sexual orientation” in the list of multiple or aggravated discrimination. It suggested addressing the particular problems women and girls with disabilities face in P(n)(bis): “Recognising that women and girls with disabilities are often subject to multiple discrimination and therefore suffer particular disadvantage.” Additionally it proposed moving the first sentence of Article 12 into the Preamble as P(n)(ter): “Recognising that PWD, in particular women and girls, are at greater risk, both within and outside the home, of violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual exploitation and abuse.” The EU suggested revising P(o) to read: “Recognising that a disproportionately large number of PWD live in conditions of poverty and mindful of the need to alleviate the negative impact of poverty on PWD.” In P(r), it suggested replacing “the human rights of” with “the enjoyment of human rights by” on the first line because existing human rights documents already deal with the rights themselves, while this Convention deals with PWD enjoying those rights; and deleting the word “social” on the third line because there is no need to qualify the term “disadvantage”. It proposed adding a new paragraph, P(s), as follows: “Recognising the particular circumstances of the child with disabilities and that the child with disabilities should enjoy the right to a full and inclusive life in conditions that ensure dignity, promote self reliance and autonomy and facilitate their active participation in the community.” It does not support a separate article, but believes it is important in the Preamble.

Chile was not ready to address the Preamble, but commented on the importance of recognising Conference against Racism, Xenophobia and other Related Forms of Discrimination, which gave rise to this Convention. In P(o), dealing with poverty, it proposed adding a reference to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) related to poverty. It also recommended adding a reference to human development indices, since the Convention is designed to raise the development indices of the entire population, particularly of PWD.

The Holy See recommended, in the interest of completeness, amending P(a) by inserting “worth” after “inherent dignity.” This wording is taken from Preamble paragraph 2 of the UN Charter.

Thailand supported the WG Preamble, and suggested adding to P(g), after “recognizing further the diversity of PWD,“ the words "their needs and requirements.” It suggested changing "economical" to "economic."

Russian Federation (RF) commented that the draft Convention and Preamble only talks about rights of PWD, followed by the obligations of States. The ICESCR takes into account “that each individual has obligations with respect to other individuals and the society to which he belongs, should seek encouragement and compliance of the rights set forth in this Covenant.” Similarly, this Convention’s Preamble should recognize the obligations or responsibilities of PWD. It also proposed inclusion of ICESCR, Article 2 in the Preamble: “Each State must take full account within its existing resources of measures to ensure gradual, full implementation of the rights set forth in this Covenant by all possible and appropriate means.”

Syria proposed an amendment to P(i), similar to the EU's proposed amendment: “Recognizing that international cooperation is important in improving the conditions and circumstances of PWD, especially in the developing countries.” Because the present draft does not include the realities and concerns of many delegations, the words “and foreign occupation of the other’s territories and properties” should be inserted after “armed conflict in P(p)."

Kenya proposed three new paragraphs. The first would read: “Recognizing that many persons with disabilities suffer double or multiple discrimination because of their status as children, women, refugees or internally displaced, older persons, people living in rural areas and people living in informal settlements.” The second would read: “Noting with concern that there exists, in various parts of the world, harmful cultural practices and beliefs that have continued to impact negatively on the rights of PWD.” The third would read: “Recognizing that HIV/AIDS impacts negatively on PWD in all spheres of life.”

Sierra Leone pointed out that procedural discussions are necessary because they guide the AHC's actions and may help to avoid problems. It supported the EU's proposed Convention title change, so that it would read “The international convention on the protection, promotion, and full enjoyment of the rights and dignity of PWD.” In P(c), the words “be guaranteed” should be deleted. P(d) should remain as it stands, notwithstanding the footnote and comments of the EU as to the status of Convention on Migrant workers. It supported Thailand’s proposal for P(g), and the EU’s proposals for P(i) and P(o). In P(m), “age” should be inserted after “language,” because children tend to be marginalized. In P(p), “situations of” should be deleted, “s” should be added to “conflict,” making it “conflicts,” and “human” should be deleted. In P(r), “full enjoyment of the rights of PWD” should be inserted after “specifically with the” and insert “and economic” after “profound social.” It supported the EU’s proposed P(s) on children, in order to create linkage between the Preamble and text; it supports a separate article on children as well. In the absence of a consensus on separate articles for women and the other groups that have been discussed, these might be included in one paragraph in the Preamble to capture the substance of these concerns.

Israel stated the Preamble sets the tone for the Convention and assists in the construction of other instruments. In the title, it is crucially important to retain “dignity” in the title, which can be in addition to, but not in place of, “equality"; dignity is a broader term, while equality is the major issue facing PWD. In P(d), it supported the EU’s proposal to delete the reference to the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as this does not rank as a leading human rights convention. P(m) should include “age.” It is necessary to mention children, women and girls with disabilities in the Preamble to create a link with other Conventions. However, it would not be advisable to include these in the operative provisions of the Convention because that may interfere with other Conventions. It proposed an additional, more explicit paragraph, as follows: “Recognizing that a comprehensive, integral, interdisciplinary approach to issues facing PWD is essential to the achievement of full and effective equality for PWD.”

Morocco supported retaining the reference to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families in P(d). In P(g), “disabilities” should be made singular, amending the phrase to “persons with disability.”

Korea supported the EU’s proposal for a shorter Convention title, which fully captures the spirit and purpose of this Convention. In P(l), “and take leading roles” should be inserted after “actively involved.”

Brazil supported the EU’s proposals to add sexual orientation to P(m) and other amendments to P(o).

South Africa proposed added in P(c), “any form of” before "discrimination.” P(g) should should be changed to “Recognizing that PWD are not a homogenous group, but are diverse in their own right,” because disability is part of humanity. In P(h), “equitable” should be inserted before “participation as equal members of society.” P(i) should read: “Emphasizing the importance of international cooperation to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of PWD.” In P(l), “especially those directly concerning them” should be deleted, as it is extraneous and presents the risk of involving PWD only in disability matters. P(p) should be amended to read: “Concerned that situations of armed conflict cause disabilities and have devastating consequences for the human rights of PWD.” In P(q), “political” should be inserted after “physical” and “and cultural” should be inserted after “economic,” because this captures the language and values of the ICCPR and ICESCR.

Canada supported the EU's and Israel’s proposals to delete the Migrant Workers Convention from P(d) referring to footnote 2. In P(m), “severe or multiple disabilities and of” should be deleted, as it creates a hierarchy within the disability community and echoes a medical model rather than a social model of disability. The word “ethnic,” should be inserted after “national” in P(m), in order to bring it into line with Article 2.1 of the CRC. It supported the EU’s proposal for P(r), but the words “with equal opportunities” should be deleted, as its meaning is unclear. Canada may have additional comments later.

Yemen recommended a clearer re-wording of the Preamble and would submit proposed text later. In P(d), it is not enough to mention CRC and CEDAW; there should also be specific reference to the conditions in which WWD and CWD are living. In P(i), it is important to highlight international cooperation, both here and in the Convention text. In P(m), Yemen suggested deleting “severe and multiple disabilities” to eliminate redundancy. In P(p), it highlighted that the current language does not reflect the situation on the ground and recommended adding “and foreign occupation of territories and assets of others” after “armed conflict,” as proposed by Syria, because foreign occupation creates conditions in which PWD cannot exercise their rights. At the end of P(p), it suggested adding “and an increase in their number.” In P(q), it suggested adding “political and cultural” after “economic,” and deleting “including information and communication," because it is included in the concept of culture.

Cuba made some proposals, reserving the option to make future proposals. It supported P(c) as currently drafted. It supported Chile's proposal to include an acknowledgment of Convention's origins at the World Conference on Racism. It proposed adding a new paragraph following P(d), which reads: “Recognizing that the exercise of the right to development, as a universal inalienable right, is a prerequisite to the integral and sustainable meeting of the needs of PWD.” In P(i), it proposed adding “all” before “human rights.” Similarly in P(j), it proposed adding “all” before “their human rights.” In P(m), it supported deleting “severe or multiple disabilities” to avoid making distinctions among PWD. In P(n) and P(r), it suggested adding “all” before “human rights.” In P(o), it proposed replacing “mindful of the need” with “concerned by the need” because the problem of poverty should be addressed with the same degree of concern as persons in armed conflict; and it proposed replacing “alleviate” with the stronger term “eradicate.” It stated that the Preamble should address the need for solidarity, both “nationally and internationally.”

India proposed amending P(g), because the word “diversity” could mean range of either disabilities or social and economic conditions; it suggested new text: “Recognizing the wide range of abilities, skills, functional competencies and concerns of PWD.” In P(I), it suggested replacing the word “emphasizing” with “recognizing” to strengthen international cooperation. It reiterated its support for a separate Article on international cooperation. In P(l), after “PWD," it proposed inserting “and their families.” In P(o), it suggested inserting at the beginning the words: “Mindful, that conditions of poverty can exacerbate the incidents and situations of PWD.”

Palestine emphasized the need to highlight “the rights of different groups” in the Preamble because some PWD are more vulnerable, but it does not want to create discrimination between PWD. It supported the proposals by Syria and Yemen to add the concept of foreign occupation and armed conflict since these lead to increases in the number of PWD, and occupation deprives PWD of certain services and development.

Namibia suggested adding “United Nations” before “Standard Rules” in P(e). In P(i), it suggested deleting “emphasizing” as India proposed, and adding a reference to the principles of international cooperation. In P(j), it suggested replacing “made by” with “of.” In P(l), it suggested deleting the last part of the paragraph, “especially those concerning them”; PWD can be involved with all kinds of decisionmaking. In P(m), it supported deletion of “severe and multiple disabilities,” retaining only “PWD.”

Pakistan suggested deleting “comprehensive and integral” from the title to conform with other conventions and to avoid qualifying the Convention’s scope. In P(b), it suggested deleting “and in the International Covenants on Human Rights” since it has not been universally accepted. In P(d), it proposed replacing “reaffirming” with “recalling” since not all Conventions have universal acceptance; but Pakistan stated that all of these instruments should remain in the paragraph. In P(g), it agreed with India’s proposal, except instead of “diversity of persons” it suggested “recognizing further the diverse nature of disabilities.” In P(i), it agreed with the need for a separate Article on international cooperation, because an international Convention needs international cooperation for implementation. In P(l), Pakistan supported India’s proposal to include families, and proposed adding “and caregivers.” In P(m), it proposed not listing all forms of discrimination because it cannot be exhaustive and may lead to division or, if there is a list, it should be in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In P(r), it proposed changing the beginning to: “Convinced that a Convention addressing specifically the rights and dignity of PWD”; and at end of the paragraph, it would substitute “spheres” with “activities.”

Argentina supported Morocco's amendment to delete “persons with” in P(g). P(h) has a translation error in Spanish. Paragraph P(i) should be replaced with footnote 4. In P(m), it suggested deleting “severe or” because this term is unclear. In P(o), it suggested a revision as follows: “Mindful of the need to alleviate the negative impact of poverty on causing disabilities and the quality of life of PWD.”

Lebanon agreed with the Syria’s proposal to add “foreign occupation” to P(p), and agreed with the proposed amendment by Sierra Leone. In P(i), it emphasized the importance of including international cooperation in the Preamble; international cooperation offers benefits to all countries. After the words “international cooperation” should be inserted “because of its multi-faceted benefits to all member countries”; after “enjoyment” should be added “all PWD”; and before “human rights” should be added the word “all.” In P(g), it agreed with the addition proposed by Thailand and Morocco. In P(j), it proposed replacing “societies” with “communities.” In P(m), it agreed with the proposal by Canada and Yemen to delete “severe and multiple”; and it proposed adding “and the kind and degree of disability” after “language,” and deleting “multiple or aggravated” before “forms of discrimination."

Commenced: 3:20 PM
Recessed for informals: 4:40 PM
Reconvened: 5:23 PM
Adjourned: 5:28 PM

The Draft Report was reviewed and adopted after several proposed amendments were discussed, mainly for paragraphs 9 and 10. Amendments to these paragraphs reflected concerns regarding the status and classification of the documents before the 3rd AHC, in particular the “Compilation” text (titled the Proposed Modifications) and the annexed proposal on International Cooperation.

Ireland, on behalf of the EU requested clarification on paragraph 11, the proposal to have an intercessional meeting of the Bureau to prepare and organize the next session of the Committee. This meeting will be useful, and Ireland hoped that it would produce a timetable and program of work for discussions at the next session -- a goal which should be spelled out more clearly. The last part of the sentence, “containing inter alia an indication of the framework for discussion” is ambiguous and should be deleted. “Timetable and program of work” should be added to the reference to a “provisional agenda.” If it is agreed that at the next session the Committee will continue in the type of structure that currently exists, engagement in substantial negotiations should include NGOs.

The Chair suggested new wording for the end of the paragraph, as follows: “containing, inter alia, timetable and program of work.” Ireland agreed that this would be satisfactory.

Thailand expressed concern about the delivery of documents, including the report, to delegates during the session. Speaking on behalf of delegates who are blind or have print disabilities, Thailand stressed the importance of providing documents in accessible formats as a reasonable accommodation. Thanking the Secretariat for its efforts in this matter, Thailand nevertheless found that materials were sometimes delivered in print first, and only made available in electronic format later. As a result of this delay, Thailand has not yet been able to study the report. Logically, because the document is created on computer before it is printed, the electronic version exists first, so it should be technically and financially feasible to deliver electronic, accessible versions earlier. Thailand stated that it would provide comments upon being able to study the text.

The Chair noted Thailand’s concern and will look into this matter before the next session.

Australia recommended that the text of paragraph 9 be reworded to include reference to the discussions of both the Preamble and International Cooperation (IC). Regarding paragraph 12, Australia supported the intervention of Thailand about access issues. It requested clarification on access plans for the 4th Committee meeting. Paragraph 12 refers to “first steps,” but the “first steps” were taken after the 2nd Committee meeting, and that now further steps must be taken toward fully accessible interaction, especially in light of the subject matter. Using the screens to show amendment text is problematic for delegates who are unable to see the screen. While not saying that the screen should not be used, Australia did suggest that circulating amendments in electronic and print format at the same time could reduce their disadvantage. Also, fixed seating in the hall is problematic for a number of delegates using wheelchairs.

The Chair stated that the intent of the paragraph was “within existing resources, as further steps” rather than first steps. The Bureau has scheduled a meeting with the Secretariat and other UN authorities; efforts are underway to improve access in the building and services. The installation of electronic devices for portable facilities was given approval. The Chair assured the delegates that the Chair and the Secretariat are dealing with these issues.

The Russian Federation expressed concern about the preparation of the documents in English and asked if and when there are plans to translate the Proposed Modifications into the official languages of the UN, including Russian, so that it can work on this text with disability experts from appropriate ministries and agencies.

The Secretariat responded that the Proposed Modifications will be attached to the text as part of the report and it will be translated into all languages at least three weeks prior to the next session.

China asked whether the topics of International Cooperation and Preamble would be included in the reference to the “first reading of the draft text of the Convention” in paragraph9. It also asked whether this reference means the same as “consideration,” as mentioned in section C (Agenda) or something else. It enquired whether the “program of work” for the next session e.g., the title, structure, etc as referred to in Paragraph9 would be determined by the AHC or the Bureau. Regarding paragraph10, it noted that Annex II, the Proposed Modifications and IC, is to be attached to the Report. It has similar concerns as Russia regarding translation, and asked if it could reserve the right to make further comments after it sees the text that will be included in this Annex.

The Chair stated that another delegation had already addressed the issue of updating paragraph 9 by adding IC and the Preamble. The Secretariat will endeavour to have translations completed at least 3 weeks before AHC4. “Consideration” applies to text that has not been adopted.

The Secretariat clarified that the document distributed here, the document that all delegations have received and which is available via Internet, is the one in which the proposed modifications will be inserted.

Israel requested confirmation of their understanding that the agenda for the 4th session will open with a discussion of the draft articles which have not yet been discussed, followed by a first reading of the articles discussed in the 3rd session. It supported previous delegations' concerns on accessibility issues, especially for people with visual and hearing impairments. For Deaf people in particular, a running protocol of the whole discussion -- comments as well as proposed amendments -- should be displayed on the screen.

The Chair requested that delegations make specific comments on the report. While the Chair understands the accessibility concerns, this discussion should focus on the draft report rather than raising other issues. The Bureau, between the sessions, will prepare the program an organization of work for the next session, and this will be submitted to Member States as soon as the Bureau of the Committee meets.

Morocco repeated the concerns of previous speakers in relation to the Preamble in P(9).

Yemen noted its concerns about translations has already been addressed by the Chair.

Malaysia was of the view that the phrase “(Proposed modifications to the draft text of the Convention)” in paragraph10 did not give sufficient weight to the work that has been done in this 3rd Session. It proposed the following amendment: “At its 18th meeting, on 4 June 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to forward to the fourth session of the Committee the compilation text of the draft Convention, as contained in Annex II to the present report, for its further consideration.”

Saudi Arabia asked if the delegations who requested interventions in the morning session on the Preamble, but who had no chance to speak due to time constraints, would have the opportunity to submit comments in writing to the Secretariat to be included in the Proposed Modifications. The Chair confirmed that these comments will be incorporated into the new text.

Uganda, upon review of paragraph 10, noted that there is no record of the various useful contributions made by NGOs and the National Human Rights Institutions. Uganda asked when the delegations would receive a document containing their contributions so that they can be taken into account and read side by side with contributions of the delegates. This Convention should ultimately benefit the NGOs who have participated.

The Chair stated that all NGO contributions could be found on the web.

New Zealand agreed with Malaysia’s concerns on paragraph 10 that the status of the work of the Committee should be accurately reflected. It understood that the compilation of proposals is a working document that would continue to be worked on at the next session. The reason it was included as an annex in the report was so that it would be translated. However, it is a working paper, and should stay that way so that the Committee can continue to work on it. It suggested a modification to Malaysia’s proposal, to replace “as contained in Annex II of the present report” with the words “as a working paper translated into all languages and issued in advance of the fourth session." When consensus is reached on the final draft of the Convention, the Ad Hoc Committee should annex and transmit that to the General Assembly (GA). On the other hand, the working document, which still contains very divergent views and many proposals, should be transmitted as a working paper to the next AHC meeting. The working document would be translated, given a document number, and circulated as a document of the Committee so that it would be part of the GA records, would be an accurate reflection of all the proposals made, and would go into the archives and “travaux preparatoires”, but its status as a working paper would be clear.

The Chair asked if all delegations agreed with New Zealand’s amendment to Malaysia’s proposal.

Malaysia expressed concern about the use of the term “working paper.” It understood that if the Compilation is annexed to the present report, both Report and the Annex would be translated into the six official languages; this would address New Zealand’s concern. Referring to the compilation as a “working paper” could diminish the work of the Ad Hoc Committee.

Ireland, speaking for the EU, stated that it took no issue with transmitting the document to the fourth session, and wanted to ensure that it contains all the governmental proposals and is translated into all languages. It expressed concern, however, with referring to it as a Compilation text of the draft Convention. Negotiations have taken place based on what emerged from the WG. The document contains modifications proposed by governments but excludes many excellent proposals from non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations; therefore it cannot be described as a compilation text. It is a working document that reflects some of the work put forward. NGOs must continue to be able to participate in the work of elaborating this Convention and the EU would not support a formulation that would suggest that they are being excluded.

The Chair inquired if Ireland could propose text to reflect its concerns.

Ireland replied that it would be appropriate to refer to the document as “Modifications Proposed by Governments to the draft text of the Convention.”

Mexico shared the concerns expressed by New Zealand, and supported the EU's proposal with a slight modification. The title of the document in the Malaysian and New Zealand proposal should reflect that it is a “compilation of proposals relative to the draft Convention” or “compilation of amendments proposed by governments.” It should also reflect that these are proposals related to the WG draft, not really a compilation text. While containing a compilation of amendments proposed by governments, it does not contain proposals made by NGOs. The document should be translated into all languages so that capitals can give instructions to delegations for the 4th session. It is more logical to call this a working document or working text, as it contains proposals on the text of the working group. This would not lessen the value or the status of the document. Regarding paragraph 9, some reference should be included to the final provisions of the draft text. Mexico asked what document CRP.2 was in paragraph 8(d), as this had not been distributed. It also requested clarification that the proposal made by Mexico on international cooperation (IC) would be included in the compilation of proposals.

Cameroon proposed, in paragraph 9, replacing the word “report,” which may be an error, with the words “the annex of the report.”

The Chair responded that paragraph 9 refers to the Organization of Work, i.e., the way that the work has been carried out, and reiterated that it would be better to leave this paragraph as it is, as there is a certain order of things that need to be included.

Costa Rica expressed concern that delegations that have not made interventions on the Preamble, even though they submit their proposals to the Secretariat, will still have an opportunity to come back to issues that are not yet closed, according to the list of speakers. To do otherwise would undermine the right of all delegations to take the floor and make their positions known to the group.

The Chair replied that Uganda, Cameroon, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Thailand, and two NGOs are on the speakers’ list for the next session and that they will have the opportunity to speak. This does not preclude the answer to Saudi Arabia that if it wishes to send its intervention to the Secretariat, it will be duly registered.

Cuba inquired about document CRP.2, in paragraph 8(d). It asked whether the document exists; if not, this reference should be deleted.

The Chair responded that Document A/AC.264/2004/CRP.2 is a contribution made by South Africa which makes reference to the New Zealand proposal for those persons with sight impairments.

South Africa, on behalf of African group, expressed concern about the reference in paragraph 10, and supported the proposal of Malaysia.

The Chair proposed text for paragraph 10: “At its 18th meeting, on 4 June 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to forward to the 4th session of the Committee, a compilation of proposals made by governments, as contained in Annex II, for consideration."

Malaysia questioned the need to qualify the statement as proposals made by governments. This is what was mandated by General Assembly (GA) resolutions adopted during first Ad Hoc Committee, which also set out the scope of participation of NGOs. In any case, proposals made by governments would have taken into account the contributions of NGOs. Furthermore the qualification implies that a Compilation would also be produced by NGOs.

The Chair appealed to Malaysia that this is a factual issue, that these are indeed proposals made by governments, and requested leeway from Malaysia.

Mexico stated that the Chair’s proposal is almost perfect, but suggested adding the words “all proposals related to a draft text of the Convention.”

The Chair read the paragraph with the proposed Mexican amendment “At its 18th meeting, on 4 June 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to forward to the 4th session of the Committee a compilation of proposals made by governments to the draft text of the Convention, as contained in Annex II, for consideration”, and asked if Malaysia could accept that proposal.

Malaysia requested clarification about how documents are being described. It questioned the implication of this paragraph that the proposals made during this 3rd Ad Hoc meeting are amendments to the draft text of a Convention that has already been recognized as the definitive basis from which to work. Malaysia recalled there was some discussion in the 2nd Ad Hoc Committee meeting about what the WG would prepare. At that time NZ had noted that this is not a draft text of the Convention, but rather some proposals for consideration at the Ad Hoc Committee meeting. Malaysia cautioned against giving undue weight to this document.

The Chair referred Malaysia to page 5, paragraph 9 of Document A/AC.265/2004/WG.1, the report of the WG to the Ad Hoc Committee: “The WG noted that its mandate from the Ad Hoc Committee was to prepare and present a draft text which would be the basis for negotiations at the Ad Hoc Committee, taking into account all contributions submitted in advance of the meetings of the WG.” Consultations could occur if needed.

Ireland, speaking on behalf of the EU, proposed that, for clarity, perhaps there is a need to indicate that they are proposals made by governments for modifications to the draft text.

Russian Federation asked that New Zealand’s suggested rewording of paragraph 10, on the need to have this document translated into all working languages and to provide it in a timely manner to the Member States, be reflected.

The Chair confirmed that the practice is to translate documents, but requested that the Russian Federation not insist on inserting this into the text, or it would become precedent for the rest of the GA.

India commented on paragraph 9, that several of its interventions were not reflected in the compilation text. It will forward to the Secretariat all proposals so that they can be duly reflected. Regarding paragraph 10, the name given to the document is important, as this is how it will be addressed at future Ad Hoc Committee meetings. It supported Malaysia’s proposal to take a few minutes to arrive at a compromise. It expressed concern at the intervention made by Ireland, to document the fact that these are proposals made by governments. This is a draft text, not a debate as to whether the proposals were made by governments, NGOs, IGOs, etc. India would prefer that this draft text remain neutral.

New Zealand proposed referring to the text with which the Committee has been working as “the report of the working group” rather than as “the draft text of the Convention,” which is slightly ambiguous. The paragraph would read as it has been proposed, but with this modification: “A compilation of proposals made by governments, as contained in Annex II of this report, to the draft text contained in Annex I of the Report of the WG." The document number would follow. This title would make clear it is the text of the WG that is being referred to without getting into a debate about the status of any documents. The WG report clearly decided, in paragraph 11 of its report, “to present the attached text to the Ad Hoc Committee” and Annex I was entitled “Draft comprehensive and integral international Convention” with a FN referring to the debate on the title and the structure.
The paragraph would then read as follows: “At its 18th meeting on 4 June 2004, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to forward to the fourth session of the Ad Hoc Committee a compilation of proposals made by governments, as contained in Annex II of this report, to the draft text contained in Annex I of the report of the WG [A/AC.265/2004/WG.1].”

Syria supported Malaysia’s proposal and directed the Committee to paragraph 1 of the report of the WG (A/AC.265/2004/WG.1), “a draft text which would be the basis for negotiations by Member States and observers at the Ad Hoc Committee of the draft Convention.” Therefore, calling it a “draft Convention” in the New Zealand proposal is incorrect. Instead it is the result of the work of the Ad Hoc Committee, which is a draft text to be negotiated by Member Countries and observer countries. It should be referred to as “draft text” and not “draft Convention.”

The Chair stated that this is a subject on which there has been a great many statements, and that after the intervention of Sierra Leone; there would be a recess for consultation.

Sierra Leone asked, as the Committee is waiting for Malaysia to come up with a revision, and New Zealand has proposed an amendment to that, whether the texts could be merged. Or, in case there is no compromise, Sierra Leone proposed referring to the text as “amendments and revisions made to the draft text contained in Annex I of the report of the WG.”

Adjourned: 4:40 PM
Reconvened: 5:23 PM

The Chair asked whether delegates could accept its proposed text for paragraph 10, which was displayed on the screen but not read aloud. The Chair saw no objections and pronounced the paragraph approved.

Ireland, speaking on behalf of the EU, stated that the fact that the Preamble and IC has been discussed, in reference to paragraph 9, does not mean that the discussion of this issues has been concluded. It alerted the Committee to the Program of Work for the 4th session as stated in paragraph 9. While this paragraph is an indication of matters that will need to be addressed, contrary to some delegations' suggestions, this is not an exhaustive list.

The Chair agreed that the Ad Hoc Committee would approve the program of work for fourth session.

Sierra Leone asked the Chair to read the formulation of paragraph 9, as it was unclear what references should be included on IC.

Secretariat read: “During its plenary meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee conducted a first reading of the draft text of the Convention, as contained in the report of the WG. The Committee considered articles 1 to 24, the issues of international cooperation and the Preamble. The committee also decided to defer the consideration of the title, the structure, definition, and monitoring to the fourth session, to be held in August-September.”

The Chair stated that interventions not completed in this meeting would be discussed in the next meeting.

Ireland, speaking on behalf of the EU, pointed out an error in paragraph 10 that has just been adopted: the word “Observers” should have a small “o,” as that is the way it is in the resolution, and it does make a difference.

The Chair submitted the entire draft for the Committee’s consideration, saw no objection to the report, and adopted it. The deadline for submission of proposals on the Preamble is Tuesday June 9th.

The Ad Hoc Committee Daily Summaries are published by the Landmine Survivors Network, a US based international organization with amputee support networks in 6 mine affected / developing countries. The proceedings of the UN Ad Hoc Committee elaborating a Convention on the human rights of people with disabilities are covered by them as a service to those wishing to better understanding and follow the process toward a convention.

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