32 - International cooperation
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International Disability Caucus
Landmine Survivors Network
People with Disability Australia
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State Parties shall engage in international cooperation as an essential element for the implementation of this convention in a spirit of solidarity, in particular for the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and the dignity of persons with disabilities. State Parties at all levels of government should encourage and support the exchange of knowledge and experience and promote international cooperation with international and regional organizations, specialized agencies, organizations of persons with disabilities, non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, as well as other national institutions, private sector, financial institutions and other stakeholders.
1. International cooperation among States shall include, but not be limited to:
a) Contribute to international and regional programmes and related activities aimed at raising awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities and combating stereotypes;
b) Sharing information concerning best practices on measures, legislation, national policies and programmes to implement the present convention and on the progress and challenges in this regard;
c) Adopting measures in favor of persons with disabilities in existing and future international cooperation activities, agreements and programmes;
d) Encouraging programmes of exchange concerning information, technical assistance, communications and assistive technologies or equipment;
e) Taking measures, including financial and technical assistance, aimed at enhancing with a multidisciplinary approach the capacities of States, particularly developing countries to effectively implement this Convention.
(f(Conclude agreements for the issue of regional or international disabled persons’ cards for the purpose of various entitlements-Israel)
2. International cooperation with respect to international and regional organizations shall include:
a) The United Nations and its specialized agencies shall take steps to ensure the effective integration of a disability perspective in their work and to periodically assess the impact of their programmes and activities on the full and equal enjoyment of all the human rights and dignity of persons with disabilities and to adjust them when and where required;
b) Increasing advisory services and technical cooperation;
c) Promoting meetings, courses, seminars and workshops and other related activities for the study of matters and problems related to the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and the dignity of persons with disabilities;
d) Inviting international and regional finance and development institutions to similarly adopt a disability perspective into their work and to assess and periodically adjust their policies and programmes;
e) Fostering bilateral, regional and international financial arrangements to promote the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and the dignity of persons with disabilities; including the establishment of bilateral, regional and international research and development funds.
3. International cooperation with respect to civil society and the private sector shall include:
a) Promoting the sharing of knowledge and experiences between non governmental organizations and organizations of persons with disabilities within and between regions, particularly through meetings, courses, seminars and workshops and other related activities;
b) Contribute to public awareness raising about the rights of persons with disabilities and combating stereotypes;
c) Supporting capacity building within civil society to engage more effectively and constructively with States Parties and with the relevant international and regional machinery, through, for example, training and technical cooperation.
d) Develop joint projects with the private sector and civil society to contribute to ensure the early participation of persons with disabilities into productive life;
e) Adopting measures including incentive measures to harness the positive potential of private sector as key agents for change;
INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY CAUCUS
Draft Article 24bis: International Cooperation
States parties recognize that the international cooperation is a fundamental element contributing to the inclusion of People with disabilities and for the effective implementation of this treaty. In a spirit of solidarity, state parties undertake to:
f) Promote and ensure among themselves the exchange of information and the dissemination of the best practices, experiences, knowledge related to the effective implementation of this treaty.
g) Encourage the technical cooperation that could contribute to build capacities of the parties to design and implement policies that allow the full enjoyment of their human rights by people with disabilities.
h) Ensure that resources are dedicated to eradicate the extreme poverty that face people with disabilities, their exclusion and the difficulties they face to access to basic services.
i) Ensure the inclusion of disability issues as described in this convention in any of their program, tool and policies of cooperation, development and humanitarian aid. In case of bilateral cooperation, this should engage both the donors and recipient of the support.
j) Contribute to the availability of specific resources dedicated to disability and development, especially regarding the empowerment of disabled people organizations and the enhancement of the disability movement.
LANDMINE SURVIVORS NETWORK
Draft Article 24quint
SYNTHESIS OF PROPOSALS
The States Parties shall cooperate directly or through competent international bodies to strengthen their capacity to fulfill the obligations arising from this Convention. Such cooperation shall promote the transfer of technical, scientific and legal expertise and technology, as mutually agreed, and the establishment and strengthening of national disability strategies, plans and programmes aiming at, inter alia, the:
(a) facilitation of the development of knowledge, skills, capacity and expertise related to the rights of persons with disabilities;
(b) information exchange on the latest advances in scientific research and the development of technology relating to, among other things, the provision of services and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities insofar as such information supports the fulfillment of the rights in this Convention, and the elimination of obstacles to their full enjoyment of rights and their autonomy and independent living;
(c) information exchange among States and other stakeholders of best practices on national measures and legislation to ensure the full protection of the rights of persons with disabilities;
(d) facilitation of research into disability issues of common interest;
(e) promotion of courses, seminars and workshops for training and research on matters relevant to the implementation of this Convention;
A number of delegations to the Working Group as well as to the third session of the Ad Hoc Committee expressed their strong support for comprehensive coverage of the concept of international cooperation as a facilitator of the implementation of the Convention. During the third session, three countries submitted their proposals for an article on international cooperation (Mexico, China, Vietnam) and a number of other countries voiced their support for these proposals specifically, or for their general content.
In the human rights context, international cooperation is referenced as an implementation measure in such documents as the ICESCR (Articles 2(3), 22 and 23), and the CRC (Article 4). In other words, principles of international cooperation are to be regarded in the human rights context not as escape clauses for implementation, but as helpful facilitators to bring about effective implementation. The obligation to cooperate is included in virtually all international environmental agreements (bilateral, regional, global), and appears as well in the international criminal law, law of the sea, and other international agreements.
Although the term “international cooperation” is equated by some with financial assistance, it encompasses many elements. It is typically translated into more specific commitments through mechanisms designed to ensure, inter alia:
a) information sharing, b) consultation and c) participation in decision-making, d) cooperative research, e) personal secondment, and, f) training and awareness raising activities. Inclusion of the concept of international cooperation lays the foundation for training, awareness raising, exchange of information and other techniques to facilitate implementation – particularly implementation in developing countries.
Draft Article 45quint: The text provided draws on proposals submitted by States at the third session of the Ad Hoc Committee (Mexico, China, and Vietnam) and attempts to be responsive to input provided by other delegations on those particular proposals. The draft language incorporates elements of the UNSR as well as language from a number of existing international law treaties where principles of international cooperation are included.
Draft Article 24quint chapeau: The chapeau expresses clearly that principles of international cooperation are intended to facilitate the implementation of the Convention. It also enumerates the broad categories of cooperative measures contemplated. (Cf. Vietnam proposal; International Convention to Combat Desertification, Article 12)
Draft Article 24quint(a): The language in this provision recognizes that the implementation of the Convention requires capacity building in relation to all stakeholders, a point made in proposals and oral intervention of many delegations. (Cf. Mexico, Vietnam; UNSR, Rule 21 (4) and (6))
Draft Article 24quint(b): Sharing of relevant technology that will further the rights of people with disabilities is a central component of international cooperation and has been stressed by a number of delegations (e.g. Thailand, Mexico, China, Vietnam). Such provisions particular to the treaty in question are now very common in multilateral treaties of all types.
Draft Article 24quint(c): Information exchange is a core component of international cooperation activities and is essential to support implementation and aid coordination among States in the disability context. (Cf. Proposals of Vietnam, China, Mexico; UNSR, Rule 22(3))
Draft Article 24quint(d): Research requires a separate provision as a component of implementation of the convention. Various proposals put forward by delegations mention research as a specific target area for international cooperation. (Cf. Mexico, Vietnam; UNSR, Rule 13)
Draft Article 24quint(e): International cooperation measures in many contexts routinely incorporate references to seminars and workshops pertaining to the implementation of the convention. This language is drawn from the proposals of Vietnam and Mexico.
Draft Article 24quint(f): Training and capacity building among disabled people and their representative organizations is essential if the human rights of people with disabilities are to be advanced. (Cf. UNSR, Rule 21(5))
Draft Article 24quint(g): The language provided responds to the suggestions of a number of delegations that disability must be fully integrated into the work of the United Nations system. (Cf. UNSR, Rule 22(1))
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY AUSTRALIA
The convention ought to include an explicit framework for international cooperation. In view of the fact that approximately two thirds of the world’s 600 million people with disability live in the developing world, we see it as essential that the implementation of this convention involve a transfer of resources, knowledge, technical assistance and policy advice to the developing world. A clear framework of international cooperation will provide a systematic or structural basis for this transfer.
However the value of international cooperation is not limited to so-called north-south transfers. There is enormous scope and need for cooperation between developed states in the harmonisation of standards providing for accessibility, in the regulation of non-State actors which impact on the lives of people with disability, and in the removal of structural barriers with an international dimension. Examples include intellectual property and copyright law, telecommunications, insurance, and civil aviation.
In many cases international cooperation will cost little. Examples of low or no cost forms of international cooperation include information exchange about technical standards and the provision of policy advice, based on domestic experience.
It is also important to recognise that there is already substantial resource transfer occurring between developed and developing states, for example through bi-lateral aid programs and inter-governmental bodies such as the World Bank and the World Health Organisation. It is critical that these programs respect the human rights of people with disability, as enunciated by this convention. Currently a great deal of development cooperation funding is directed towards projects that create, rather than eliminate, barriers for people with disability, such as inaccessible infrastructure, and education programs that fail to effectively include children with disability, for example. It is essential that both donors and recipients of development cooperation mainstream disability issues. This will result in no extra outlay for developed states but vastly improved outcomes for people with disability in developing countries.
However, all States must accept an immediate obligation to comply with the terms of this convention, without making this obligation subject in any way to the pre-condition of international cooperation.
In general, we support the articles on international cooperation proposed by the Governments of Mexico, China, and Viet Nam. However, we recommend that the following measures are also included:
• harmonisation of laws with cross-jurisdictional impact;
• the incorporation of disability perspectives into international efforts to promote development and eradicate poverty;
• assistance in building the capacity of disabled peoples organisations.
Harmonisation of laws across States will be essential for the effective regulation of major issues as copywrite, for example. International cooperation is self-evidently essential to international efforts to promote development and eradicate poverty. A strong disability movement is critical to implementation and monitoring of this convention at the national and international levels.