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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Article 32 - International cooperation
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Seventh Session



Comments, proposals and amendments submitted electronically






Non-governmental organizations

International Disability Caucus

International Disability Convention Solidarity in Korea

International Disability Development Consortium

Japan Disability Forum

People with Disability Australia


Comments, proposals and amendments submitted electronically



Proposal from China (January 26)

Article 32

While the primary responsibility for the protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities lies with each State, States Parties recognize the high importance of international cooperation between and among States as well as with the United Nations and its relevant specialized agencies, international and regional organizations, national institutions, civil society including non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders, in achieving the purposes of this Convention, and undertake to take effective measure to implement and promote the cooperation, in a spirit of solidarity, including by:

(Note: the chapeau is mainly built upon the previous proposals of Mexico, Vietnam and China.)

(a) Adopting legislative, administrative and other measures to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, and to raise awareness and combat stereotypes, to the maximum extent of their available resources, in coordination with each other as well as in collaboration with international and regional organizations ;

(Note: this para is built upon the previous proposals of Argentina, Mexico and China.)

(b) Exchanging and sharing of information especially that concerning progress, experiences including best practices and challenges in implementing this Convention;

(Note: this para was introduced by China at the 3rd session of ADC and slightly modified.)

(c) Encouraging the provision of advisory services, technical cooperation including technology transfer, and bilateral and/or multilateral assistance to the developing countries so as to strengthen their capacity-building;

(Note: this para is a combination of the previous proposals of Mexico, Vietnam, Jamaica and China.)

(d) Promoting research and application of assistive technologies for persons with disabilities and their organizations.

(Note: this para is borrowed from the previous proposals by Mexico and Vietnam.)


Replace Para 2 with the following:

States Parties recognize further while international cooperation plays a supplementary/ supportive role, each State Party undertakes to fulfill its obligations under the present convention.



International Cooperation
We appreciate the effort put in by the Facilitator in bringing up a text, which makes a good basis for discussion.

We agree that International Cooperation is a very important article for this convention. The convention should effectively facilitate sharing of scientific and technical knowledge and experience amongst state parties so that quality of life of persons with disabilities especially in developing countries may be improved. There is therefore need for a close cooperation amongst state parties and other regional and international Organizations. We however feel that the text in paragraph 1 need be strengthened. Facilitator has rightly flagged three issues, which remain unresolved during the discussions in Facilitator’s Group. We have some proposals on this Article.

(i) We feel that international cooperation development programmes should be inclusive of persons with disabilities. An effort is being made by the various International Organizations to take up programmes so that infrastructure created under such programmes is not only used by general population in that area but should also be equally accessible to persons with disabilities. We therefore, propose a clear and specific reference to this aspect in paragraph 1(a).

(ii) Secondly, it is very important that technical and economic assistance is provided without preconditions. This assistance should be absolute without attaching any strings. Attempts to include the words ‘as appropriate’ not only weakens the text but also could lead to delay in processing of such assistance. We therefore feel that the words “as appropriate” need be deleted from the paragraph 1(b).

(iii) We are cognizant of the fact that international cooperation plays a supplementary and supportive role and each state party will have to meet its obligation created under this convention. Therefore, paragraph 2 of the convention has to be redrafted. We support the text circulated by China.




Article 32:
States Parties are encouraged to undertake technical cooperation to enhance national efforts in the implementation of the Convention. This could include activities such as:
a) Sharing best practices;

b) Exchange of information;

c) Access to technology;

d) Establishment of bilateral or multilateral assistance programmes




International Cooperation

Principles and Elements for a provision on International Cooperation in the context of a comprehensive and integral international convention to protect and promote the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities
1. States Parties recognize the high importante of international cooperation in the realization of the purposes of the convention.

3. A wide variety of stakeholders participate in international cooperation.

- Among these, the concept of cooperation “between and among States” was underscored; as well as the participation of civil society, in particular organizations of persons with disabilities, in international cooperation.

4. Support in capacity building.

- Many delegations indicated the need to elaborate this issue in more detail. Therefore, further discussions will be required.

5. The need for international cooperation development programmes to be inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities.

- In this regard, some delegations noted that this provision could be already covered by draft article 4 (c), thus creating duplication. However, it was also noted that the provisions in article 4 refer mostly to measures at the national level and not to the international realm. Therefore, a number of delegations considered that such reference had a different purpose.

6. The exchange of information and experiences, including best practices.

7. Technical assistance.

- In connection with this issue, a number of delegations highlighted the need to include access to technologies, in particular assistive and accessible technologies. However, some delegations considered such a reference to be too detailed.

- In connection to the issues addressed in paragraphs 6 and 7, various delegations highlighted the need to include the matter of access to scientifical and technical knowledge.

8. Encourage the provision of economic assistance, including through public and private entities, to the extent possible;

- A number of delegations did not agree to the inclusion of economic assistance amongst the elements of international cooperation.

- It was noted that in other international instruments economic assistance has traditionally been considered jointly with technical assistance as an element of international cooperation;

- There was not an agreement regarding the inclusion of the private sector, since some delegations expressed their concern in that respect.

9. International cooperation should only be linked to the realization of social, economic, and cultural rights of the convention.,

- There was not agreement as to the inclusion of this principle, since many delegations considered that in view of the hybrid nature of many of the provisions in the convention all of them could benefit from international cooperation, and it would be difficult to distinguish and select which ones are or are not relevant to the disposition on international cooperation.

- Some delegations considered it important to include this principle, in light of the precedents of other human rights treaties.

* One delegation requested that the possibility of including a reference to the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights be included in the context of a provision on international cooperation. It was generally agreed that in the light of the discussions on article 4 of the draft convention on that same issue, the proposed reference could not be necessary if a general provision on progressive realization were to be agreed in draft article 4.


Non-governmental organizations


Chairman’s text as amended by the IDC

[Article 32

  1. (NEW: “Ensure that resources are dedicated to eradicate the extreme poverty that face people with disabilities, their exclusion and the difficulties they face to obtain access to services.
  2. Ensure that sufficient resources within existing and future development and other aid efforts are allocated towards helping people with disabilities and used towards the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities, the empowerment of disability organizations and their enhancement.”
  3. Ensure that disability issues are fully integrated into all aspects in development policy, development programs, humanitarian and emergency measures in accordance with this treaty. All donors and recipients are obliged to ensure that all funds spent on generic and specific services, programs and infrastructure are inclusive of and accessible to people with disabilities at all levels of decision making, implementation and use.”

(JUSTIFICATION: The IDC underlines both, the necessity of the mainstreaming of all International Cooperation policies and programs, and the need of having specific programs that address the needs of people with disabilities. Moreover, we encourage including a provision that particularly mentions the appropriate use of existing funds for international cooperation: no International Cooperation funding should be used to create barriers for disabled people.

Programmes of international co-operation should always take full account of the interests of persons with disabilities.


States Parties shall undertake international cooperation to fulfill the obligations arising from this Convention to ensure the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all areas of society on an equal basis with others. States Parties agree that representative organizations of persons with disabilities will be consulted and participate in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of international cooperation projects, also by ensuring that existing and future resources in the realm of international cooperation and other aid efforts are utilized to implement the purposes of the present Convention.
The provisions relating to international cooperation shall contribute to building inclusive societies by encouraging technical cooperation, exchange of and access to scientific and technical knowledge, exchange of experiences, promotion of research and application of accessible technologies and  building capacities and raising public awareness on disability and the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities. The provisions relating to international cooperation do not in any way derogate from the obligations of States to fulfill their obligations under this Convention.




 Article 32

(SUGGESTION: Paragraphs dealing with international fund, technological cooperation, set-up of international standard should be added.)




New York, 3 February 2006

Intervention on Article 32
As delivered in the plenary of the Seventh Ad Hoc Committee

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The International Disability & Development Consortium - a global consortium of non-governmental organizations supporting disability and development work in more than 100 countries around the world – fully supports the IDC proposal for a separate Article on International Cooperation.

We express our appreciation to the Ad Hoc Committee for its support of the inclusion of international cooperation as one of the paramount implementation provisions in this Convention and welcome the Facilitator’s efforts in finding suitable and agreeable text.

While we do not want to burden the Ad Hoc Committee with yet another new concept, we believe that inclusive development is the best means to achieve the full enjoyment of all human rights by all people regardless where they live.

Inclusive development ensures that all phases of the development cycle – design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation – are inclusive and ensure meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in all processes and policies.

It also implies a rights-based approach to development, understood as a framework for human development firmly grounded in international human rights standards and focused on the promotion and protection of human rights.

While we understand the stance taken by some delegations that the term “international cooperation” is to be understood as broadly as possible, we underscore the necessity to include persons with disabilities at all levels of development programs. Based on current estimates development programs include only 3-4% of persons with disabilities. Thus, 96% of persons with disabilities do not benefit from development programs. This is not a gap, this is millions of persons with disability not being taken into consideration.

There is a strong trend in many of the national development programs to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in these programs and based thereon support for such a provision should be possible.

As the resolution initiating the current negotiations states – and as was stressed again by High Commissioner Louise Arbour here last week – the present treaty must address both social development as well as human rights. Underscoring this point the High Commissioner stated that “International cooperation must also play a role in ensuring that progress is made everywhere, particularly in less developed States.”

Also, we would like to draw the Committee’s attention to a resolution passed by the Parliament of the European Union last week on the issue of disability & development. We thank the Secretariat for posting it on the ENABLE web site.

The resolution highlights the importance of mainstreaming disability into all levels of international development policy and calls for action on implementing the European Union Guidance Note on Disability & Development.
In addition, the parliament called on the European Commission to support the inclusion of a separate article on international cooperation in the present Convention as – I quote –
“a necessary foundation for collaborative actions in pursuit of inclusive development and to facilitate bilateral and multilateral exchange of expertise, between developing countries and between such countries and the European Union.” End quote.

Finally, looking toward the future, for which this Convention is being created - and in the context of implementation – as well as in light of the ongoing discussions on monitoring we would like to also emphasize the High Commissioner’s statement on the importance of international monitoring for international cooperation.

Thank you.




Article 32

We support an independent article on international cooperation.  As to the Draft, we generally support the Facilitator’s Draft at the 6th session.  Especially, Paragraph (c) of the same draft is important to establish a principle that people with disabilities shall not be excluded from international cooperation program in general including ODA.

Related Domestic Measures:
The status of people with disabilities shall be clarified with regard to ODA plans in general, especially the enforcement of MDG and human security projects.




Report on National Consultations

Article 32: International Cooperation

The Chair included provision for an article on international cooperation.   The need for such an article was strongly supported by consultation participants.   Participants argued that focus of international cooperation need not focus on financial transfers solely, but to draw on already existing experience of international cooperation particularly in the areas of technical exchange and capacity building.  Participants indicated that international cooperation should be built on a strong understanding of sharing resources including knowledge and skills on the basis of equal partnerships. 

To this end, features of an international cooperation article could include:

Recommended text

(a) Exchange of information concerning best practices on measures, legislation, national policies, programs and projects to implement the present convention and on the progress and challenges faced in this regard;

(b) Increasing public awareness on disability and the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disability;

(c) Ensuring that international cooperation programs are inclusive to persons with disability;

(d) Encouraging the provision of technical cooperation and economic assistance to developing countries, including transfer of technology;

(e) Promoting research and application of accessible technologies, including assistive technologies for persons with disability;

(f) Conducting training courses, seminars, workshops and research;

(g) Supporting and develop capacity building for the full implementation of this convention.







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