STATES PARTIES TO CONVENTION ON RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ELECT FIRST 12 EXPERTS TO MONITORING COMMITTEE; TERM OF OFFICE BEGINS 1 JANUARY 2009

3 November 2008
HR/4966

STATES PARTIES TO CONVENTION ON RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ELECT FIRST 12 EXPERTS TO MONITORING COMMITTEE; TERM OF OFFICE BEGINS 1 JANUARY 2009

3 November 2008
General Assembly
HR/4966
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

States Parties to Convention

on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

2nd Meeting (PM)

STATES PARTIES TO CONVENTION ON RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ELECT FIRST

12 EXPERTS TO MONITORING COMMITTEE; TERM OF OFFICE BEGINS 1 JANUARY 2009

The First Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded its session this afternoon with the election of 12 independent experts to its Committee that will monitor the Convention’s implementation.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would consider reports of States parties and issue general recommendations to them.  The 12-member expert body would give due consideration to ways and means of enhancing national capacities for the Convention’s implementation, including through international cooperation.  The Committee would also consider claims of violations from individuals and groups subjected to the jurisdiction of States that had ratified the Convention’s Optional Protocol.

In three rounds of secret balloting, the Conference elected:  Amna Ali Al Suweidi ( Qatar), Consultant at the People with Disabilities Management; Mohammed Al-Tarawneh ( Jordan), Senior Technical Adviser/Manager with ARD, Inc., implementing the Jordan Local Governance Development Project; Lotfi Ben Lallahom (Tunisia), Professor of Medicine, Tunis Medical School, and Director-General, Institute for the Promotion of Persons with Disabilities; Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri (Bangladesh), Managing Director of the self-governing entity of the Government promoting an inclusive, barrier-free and rights-based society for persons with disabilities; María Soledad Cisternas Reyes (Chile), Director of the Legal Programme on Disability, Faculty of Law, Diego Portales University; and György Könczei (Hungary), Chair, Governmental Committee for the European Social Charter, Council of Europe.

Also:  Edah Wangechi Maina (Kenya), Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped; Ronald McCallum (Australia), Professor of Labour Law, University of Sydney; Ana Peláez Narváez (Spain), International Relations Director, Spanish Organization of the Blind; Germán Xavier Torres Correa (Ecuador), Parliamentary adviser to the National Congress, serving as Vice-President of the National Council on Disabilities; Cveto Uršič (Slovenia), General Director, Directorate of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs; and Jia Yang (China), Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Founding Director of the Women’s Committee of the China Association of the Blind.

According to Article 34 of the Convention, the Committee will consist, at the time of entry into force, of 12 experts.  After an additional 60 ratifications or accessions, the membership shall increase by six members.  Members are elected for a term of four years and are eligible for re-election once.  The elected members would start their term of office on 1 January 2009.  However, the term of six of the members elected at the first election, to be determined by lot, shall expire at the end of two years.  They are:  Lotfi Ben Lallahom ( Tunisia); György Könczei ( Hungary); Edah Wangechi Maina ( Kenya); Ronald McCallum ( Australia); Germán Xavier Torres Correa ( Ecuador); and Cveto Uršič ( Slovenia).

The Convention, the first new human rights treaty of the twenty-first century, aims to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy human rights on an equal basis with others.  It has been signed by 136 countries, since it was opened for signature on 30 March 2007, and ratified by 41.  It entered into force on 3 May 2008.  While the Convention does not create any new rights for the estimated 650 million persons with disabilities, it ensures that their existing rights are promoted, protected and ensured.

The Convention’s Optional Protocol has gathered 79 signatures and 25 ratifications, and allows individuals and groups to present petitions regarding alleged rights violations once all national recourse procedures have been exhausted.

Participants in the Conference were informed that the Second Conference of States Parties would take place in New York, in August or September 2009, with the exact dates to be announced.

First Round of Balloting

Number of ballot papers:

41

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Abstentions:

0

Number of representatives voting:

41

Required majority:

21

Amna Ali Al Suweidi ( Qatar)

26

Mohammed Al-Tarawneh ( Jordan)

23

Lotfi Ben Lallahom ( Tunisia)

21

Luis Guillermo Bulit Goñi ( Argentina)

20

Monthian Buntan ( Thailand)

20

Manuel de Jesús Campos Labrador ( Panama)

16

Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri ( Bangladesh)

27

María Soledad Cisternas Reyes ( Chile)

22

Alpha Boubacar Diop ( Guinea)

18

Julio César Fretes Portillo ( Paraguay)

17

Ismaïla Konate ( Mali)

11

György Könczei ( Hungary)

25

Mateo A. Lee, Jr. ( Philippines)

13

Edah Wangechi Maina ( Kenya)

20

Ricardo Tadeu Marques da Fonseca ( Brazil)

12

Ronald McCallum ( Australia)

23

Sivalingum Moodley ( South Africa)

16

Ana Peláez Narváez ( Spain)

24

Jesús Juan Portalanza Güere ( Peru)

12

Colette Roberts-Risden ( Jamaica)

14

Germán Xavier Torres Correa ( Ecuador)

22

Cveto Uršič ( Slovenia)

24

Jia Yang ( China)

24

Obtaining the required majority, the following were elected as experts to the Committee:  Amna Ali Al Suweidi (Qatar); Mohammed Al-Tarawneh (Jordan); Lotfi Ben Lallahom (Tunisia); Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri (Bangladesh); María Soledad Cisternas Reyes (Chile); György Könczei (Hungary); Ronald McCallum (Australia); Ana Peláez Narváez (Spain); Germán Xavier Torres Correa (Ecuador); Cveto Uršič (Slovenia); and Jia Yang (China).

Since only 11 candidates had obtained an absolute majority, an additional round of balloting was required to fill the remaining place.  According to the rules of procedure, the voting was restricted to the candidates who had obtained the largest number of votes, the number of candidates being limited to not more than twice the places remaining to be filled.  Since three candidates had obtained the same number of votes –- 20 in total -– the Conference decided that the second round of voting was restricted to those three candidates.

Second Round of Balloting

Number of ballot papers:

41

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Abstentions:

0

Number of representatives voting:

41

Required majority:

21

Luis Guillermo Bulit Goñi ( Argentina)

14

Monthian Buntan ( Thailand)

10

Edah Wangechi Maina ( Kenya)

17

Since none of the candidates had obtained the required absolute majority of 21 votes, a third round of balloting was required.  The vote was restricted to the candidates who had obtained the largest number of votes, the number of candidates being limited to not more than twice the places remaining to be filled.

Third Round of Balloting

Number of ballot papers:

41

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Abstentions:

0

Number of representatives voting:

41

Required majority:

21

Luis Guillermo Bulit Goñi ( Argentina)

17

Edah Wangechi Maina ( Kenya)

24

Having obtained the required majority, Edah Wangechi Maina ( Kenya) was elected.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.