Back to: Daily
Ad Hoc Committee Main
Daily summary of discussions related to Article
UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Fourth session of the Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
A service made possible by Landmine Survivors Network *
Volume 5, #5
August 27, 2004
ARTICLE 24 bis: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Morocco reminded delegates that international cooperation need
not necessarily be north-south, but can also be south-south and south-north.
It addressed the draft article submitted by Mexico at AHC3 (available
), and presented an amended text agreed upon by the African Group, available
Chile expressed appreciation for the Mexican proposal,
as it puts in a specific article aspects of the preamble, as well as
principles proposed to be included in convention. The proposal gives
details as a way to orient states in implementing international cooperation.
This is particularly important for developing countries. In general
terms Chile supports the Mexican draft, but would like the beginning
of 24(3)(c) to read “Supporting capacity building within civil society,
particularly for PWD, to engage more effectively and constructively
with States Parties … ” Chile would also appreciate an explanation for
the rationale of the Israeli proposal for this article (available at:
which calls for international and regional cards for PWD.
Costa Rica thanked Mexico, China and Vietnam for their
proposals, and Morocco for its comments on the nature of international
cooperation. South-north international cooperation is a reality and
should be utilized. Costa Rica supports the Mexican proposal with some
minor amendments. In the second sentence of the chapeau, Costa Rica
proposes insertion of “among States” after “experience and international
cooperation,” as international cooperation occurs first and foremost
among States. Although other paragraphs in the Mexican proposal are
important, they may be too detailed when the chapeau along may suffice.
The Chinese proposal to mainstream disability in programmes on cooperation
available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/ahc3intlcoop.htm#china.
should be added to the Mexican chapeau. This will provide a way to implement
commitments that are entered into by states within context of this convention.
Costa Rica would like more information on the rationale for the Israeli
proposal in (f) regarding cards for PWD.
Japan supported the Mexican proposal, which is very
comprehensive. Japan is supportive of the Mexican proposal in principle,
and the elements of that proposal, though it does seem disproportionately
long and should be streamlined. Regarding the Israeli proposal for 24
bis 2(e) and the establishment of research and development funds, Japan
believes that existing mechanisms should be more fully utilized before
establishing any new ones.
China noted that international cooperation is very
important, and should be included as a core element of this treaty as
indeed it should be included in every international convention. International
cooperation should be addressed in a separate article, as well as in
the article on general principles. Given the current numbering, it could
be in a new article 26. China appreciates support for its proposal,
available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/ahc3intlcoop.htm#china
, though notes Vietnam and Mexico have made similar proposals. As the
Chinese proposal includes only the most important elements, the best
approach may be to merge it with other proposals.
The Netherlands (EU) reiterated its position that implementation
of the convention will be the responsibility of States Parties, and
such implementation must not be conditional on receipt of international
aid or assistance. The EU is open to considering a provision regarding
international sharing of information, exchange of experience and best
practice, in order to assist implementation. In this regard the EU has
made proposal related to international cooperation for both the Preamble
and Article 4, based on Article 4, CRC. The EU is grateful to Mexico,
China and Vietnam for their proposals, but is not convinced of the need
for a specific article on international cooperation. Having studied
those proposals it sees merit in the approach of the Chinese proposal,
though has “serious questions” about the language in that proposal.
The Vietnam proposal raises important issues, but these are dealt with
in other parts of treaty. The Mexican proposal is very detailed but
could not serve as a basis for discussions on this topic. It is conceptually
unclear, unclear as to the obligations on States Parties, and also creates
obligations for non-States Parties such as the UN. The language used
in that proposal is more appropriate to a resolution rather than a treaty.
The EU stand read to continue discussions on the necessity of including
international cooperation and how to include it.
Thailand supported inclusion of the concept of international
cooperation. Thailand is grateful for the proposals of Mexico, China
and Vietnam, and is willing to discuss how the article can be formulated.
It reiterates its proposal from AHC3 for 24 bis (1)(c), that the concept
of disability inclusiveness be addressed in any existing or future international
cooperation programs and agreements. This will “cause no harm to anyone,”
whether it is part of a separate article or addressed within Article
4 on general obligations. Thailand is supportive of the sharing of knowledge
and information, a practice it supports at both international and regional
New Zealand agreed international cooperation is a very
important issue, especially in this context, and is open to some mention
of it. The Mexican proposal is too detailed, with language more appropriate
to a resolution addressing implementation than a legally binding document
itself. New Zealand thanks Mexico for its inclusion for a list of sources
used in preparation of the proposal, though notes that many are themselves
detailed programmatic documents, or treaties that are scientific rather
than rights-based documents. New Zealand looks forward to further discussions
on this topic and hopes such discussions will occur in a less detailed
context. The Chinese proposal is a good basis, as it includes only the
most essential and important elements. New Zealand supports China’s
inclusion of mainstreaming disability in international development program
frameworks. It would prefer further discussion be based on such a succinct
concept and provision, rather than a very detailed / resolution-style
Canada fully supported the remarks of the EU, and to
a large extent New Zealand’s comments. International cooperation is
a very important principle, but it should not be a condition for implementation.
The primary responsibility for implementation rests with States. Canada
appreciates the Mexican proposal, but it is too prescriptive and programmatic,
though it would be an excellent basis for a resolution on implementation
of the treaty. Canada appreciates the streamlined proposals of China
and Vietnam, but these also” take the convention away from the principled
approach into the realm of programmatic action.” Canada concedes international
cooperation will need to be addressed by the treaty, and supports the
EU approach of addressing the issue in the Preamble. Any language on
the issue should be based on existing human rights instruments, such
as Article 4 of CRC, and Articles 22 and 23 of ICESCR. Canada is aware
of discussions to include NGOs in any international cooperative framework,
and as a core funder of Disabled Peoples’ International is supportive
of discussions on such capacity building. Canada also supports suggestions
of the EU to include references to information exchange and sharing
of best practices.
Norway supported the remarks of the EU, and New Zealand
in particular. Norway welcomes the issue of international cooperation
in the treaty, as it is an important aspect that should be reflected
upon. However, Norway is not yet convinced of the need for a separate
article. It could be addressed in other ways, such as in the Preamble
as suggested by Canada. Norway is willing to be flexible, but if discussions
move towards a separate article, the basis for discussions should be
a short and succinct proposal such as that submitted by China. The Mexican
proposal is too long, detailed, and prescriptive for a convention.
Cuba identified a number of challenges for developing
countries seeking to promote the human rights of PWD, including shortage
of resources, poverty, foreign debt, “imposition of neo-liberal policies,”
globalization, and a “prevailing unjust world order.” International
cooperation is “essential” to “establish a just and democratic international
economic environment which would be the only genuine way to move forward
to promote and protect the human rights of PWD.” Financial flows towards
developing countries should be promoted through compliance with commitments
in official development aid. Mexico’s proposal, although lengthy, sufficiently
covers the aspects of international cooperation within the framework
of this convention. It supports Costa Rica regarding sharing of knowledge
and experience “between States” and “between States and” the various
organizations in the chapeau. Cuba also supports the Moroccan proposal
to address progress and challenges in 24 bis (1)(b). 24 bis (1)(e) should
be replaced with (c) from the Chinese proposal, referencing technical
and economic assistance for developing countries, including technology
transfer. Cuba would like more information regarding the Israeli proposal
for 24 bis (1)(f). In (2) of the Mexican proposal, Cuba supports the
Israeli proposal to include “including the establishment of bilateral,
regional and international research and development funds,” which would
assist with technology transfer for developing countries. Cuba also
supports the Israeli proposal for (3)(a) of the Mexican proposal, “including
partnerships and cooperation agreements between local and municipal
authorities,” where national institutions could also be referenced.
Mali supported the proposal of Morocco and the African
Group, and thanked Mexico and China for their attempts to give meaning
to international cooperation from the standpoint of developing countries.
There is much interdependency in the world, and while there is interest
in establishing international cooperation between north and south, and
east and west, this interest ultimately stems from human dignity, which
is an interest of all civilizations.
Philippines stated that international cooperation should
be an integral and necessary part of the treaty, and thanked Mexico,
China and Vietnam for their proposals. Although national implementation
should not be contingent upon international cooperation, it remains
a critical aspect of the “equation.” The treaty should not be just an
enumeration of rights for PWD, but should also contain a realistic and
achievable set of measures for implementation, among which is international
cooperation. Inclusion of an article on international cooperation would
be a testament to the sincerity of the international community to “uplift
the lives of PWD.”
Jamaica reiterated its full support for inclusion of
an article on international cooperation. Responsibility lies at the
national level but many countries face limitations, and there is a need
for partnerships in the international context. In response to the EU,
New Zealand and Canada’s comments that there is no precedent for inclusion
of this article, in articulating this convention “there are new grounds
which should be broken and this should be one such new ground.” Jamaica
is flexible and willing to make the article more acceptable to all,
but believes 24 bis has a place in the treaty and in realizing the “noble
objectives” of the convention. It supports Costa Rica’s proposal that
the chapeau reference “among States,” as bilateral cooperation is also
envisaged. Jamaica supports Canada’s position that organizations of
PWD should be included in international cooperation programs. In 24
bis (3)(c), it supports the Chilean proposal to add “for persons with
disabilities” after “supporting capacity building.”
Vietnam stated that international cooperation is an
important principle for implementation of the convention. It agrees
with Thailand and the EU on the need to share experiences and best practices
related to implementation. It supports the proposals of Mexica, China
and others, and hopes that discussions will produce the best article
on international cooperation for the treaty.
United States while reserving on some points [not specified],
it endorsed “in principle” the interventions of the EU, New Zealand,
Canada and Norway.
Mexico expressed thanks for the support and comments
on its draft article. Mexico’s intention was to provide a common understanding
of what international cooperation would mean in the framework of this
convention, “and avoid misunderstandings and confusion.” A general or
limited reference to international cooperation, as is found in other
human rights treaties, would not make clear what States and other actors
should do in relation to this treaty. International cooperation must
be a complement to national efforts, and implementation of the treaty
should not be contingent upon the level of international cooperation.
It should be viewed in a broad context, and include exchange of information
and best practices, scientific research, training, awareness, cooperation
among disabled people’s organizations, development of technologies,
and not simply a transfer of resources or economic assistance. It should
be provided at bilateral and regional levels, as well as in multi-lateral
fora, including specialized agencies and financial institutions. The
nature of this treaty opens the way to providing innovative means for
international cooperation involving different actors, so that it meets
the specific needs of PWD. This has been done already in the frameworks
of other international instruments, involving various organizations
and bodies. Mexico is prepared to work constructively to reflect all
of the concerns and observations made, to reach an agreeable article.
Serbia and Montenegro thanked delegations that had
submitted proposals and explanations, including China and Vietnam, and
especially Mexico. Serbia and Montenegro associates itself with statements
of the EU, New Zealand, Canada, Norway and the United States. It reiterates
its position that international cooperation is significant, and feels
that Article 2 bis could provide a good approach, and could be placed
in Article 4. However, if others agree on a more detailed text Serbia
and Montenegro is prepared to go along, but prefers to keep any article
as short as possible.
Colombia joined in support of inclusion of this article,
and thanked Mexico for introducing it. International cooperation means
active participation of States and civil society towards a common objective.
It is not merely assistance or aid, nor should it be seen as a condition
overtaking national responsibilities.
Trinidad and Tobago supported Mexico’s initiative to
include a separate and specific article on international cooperation,
which “raises international cooperation to the normative level.” Mexico’s
proposal is comprehensive, clearly establishes the duty of states to
cooperate with each other, and envisages an important role for international
and regional organizations, as well as civil society and the private
sector. International cooperation relates not only to financial flows,
but also other areas of cooperation which can help in bringing about
full implementation of national level obligations that States freely
assume to assist PWD. Inclusion of such a provision in a multi-lateral
treaty of this nature is essential. For the text of the article, it
may be necessary to place the paragraph proposed by Argentina for Article
4 in another part of convention.
Malaysia joined in thanking Mexico, China and Vietnam
for their efforts in introducing 24 bis. An article on international
cooperation has a legitimate place in this convention, as it has been
proven that no one country, particularly a developing country is able
to realize the right to development of its population without support
from the international community. Malaysia supports Morocco’s proposal
and looks forward to discussing the text in further detail.
El Salvador noted that it struggles to achieve development
on a daily basis, and agrees that international cooperation must be
included. It thanks countries’ proposals and supports Mexico’s statement.
As Colombia noted, international cooperation is not a way of “ducking”
national responsibilities, but a means of strengthening and supplementing
national efforts. Since the work is national and international in nature,
El Salvador supports the detailed and wide-ranging proposal submitted
Venezuela supported the Mexican proposal. Other delegations
have solely looked at economic issues, but this goes further. PWD need
technical knowledge and assistance. We need “true assistance relating
to everything that will help us join in society.”
Lebanon reiterated it position that there is a need
for the treaty to reflect a spirit of cooperation, solidarity and interdependence
among states. There must be balance between the detailed text of the
Mexican proposal and the two brief proposals of Vietnam and China. International
cooperation must contain exchange of workshops, training, and incorporation
of disability in bilateral and multilateral agreements between states
and between states and intergovernmental organizations.
Uruguay joined previous speakers in support of international
cooperation. Uruguay considers it of paramount importance to achieve
the aims of the convention.
Tanzania thanked Mexico for its introduction of the
article, and joined others in supporting inclusion of such an article.
International cooperation is an aspect that will go far in assisting
implementation of the convention.
The Chair then opened the floor to non-governmental
The Disability Caucus noted that PWD are the most marginalized
in social and economic development and realization of their human rights.
Poverty is both a cause and consequence of disability, and this can
only be changed when States provide equal opportunities to PWD. International
cooperation in all of its forms can and must play an important role
in creating conditions which will best support an improved quality of
life for PWD. In human rights international cooperation is referenced
as a tool to promote compliance in Articles 22,23, and 14 of ICESCR,
and Article 4 of CRC. It must be taken up within the context of human
rights not as a tool that makes it possible to avoid compliance, but
rather as a facilitator to ensure that obligations are abided by. The
Caucus has proposed draft language available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/ahc4idcupdate.doc.