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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality

ADHOC COMMITTEE ON
AN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION

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Statement

Agenda Item 7d
COMPLEMENTARITY BETWEEN A NEW INSTRUMENT AND EXISTING INSTRUMENTS

SECOND SESSION OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE ON A COMPREHENSIVE AND INTEGRAL INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
New York, 16 to 27 June 2003

European Union


Mr. Chairman,

The European Union would like to reaffirm its view that the new convention on the rights of persons with disabilities should develop certain provisions of existing human rights treaties with a view to tailoring them, where relevant, to the specific circumstances faced by persons with disabilities. It thus follows that our work should be based on such existing treaties, in particular the six core human rights treaties, and be fully consistent with their provisions. The new convention should neither undermine nor simply duplicate the provisions of other human rights instruments.

In the process of tailoring existing rules to the specific circumstances faced by persons with disabilities, due consideration should be given, in our view, to the principles and ideas contained, inter alia, in the UN Standard Rules on Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons, as well as the OHCHR study of the current use and future potential of UN human rights instruments in the context of disability.

The European Union regards the UN Standard Rules as an instrument for policy-making and action. We agree with the view that these Rules are in need of refining and updating and would like to emphasise that the latter process should not be delayed by the elaboration of a new convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. On the contrary, we see both exercises as mutually reinforcing. In this context, policies and programmes are called for, which should be inclusive, supportive of communities and families and ensure equal access to programmes and services for all.

The European Union welcomes the appointment by the SG of Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa bin Ahmed al Thani as the special Rapporteur on Disability of the Commission for Social Development and assure her that she will have the full and firm support of the European Union.

The EU also strongly believes that the process of elaborating a convention should take place in parallel with concrete efforts to mainstream the disability perspective into the monitoring mechanisms of the six core UN human rights treaties.

It is through such combined and concerted action that we shall ensure full protection of all human rights of persons with disabilities.

23 June 2003

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United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development