General Assembly resolution 56/168 of 19 December 2001 established an Ad Hoc Committee “to consider proposals for a comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, based on the holistic approach in the work done in the fields of social development, human rights and non-discrimination and taking into account the recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission for Social Development.”
The resolution also, “invites States, relevant bodies and organizations of the United Nations system, including relevant human rights treaty bodies, the regional commissions, the Special Rapporteur on disability of the Commission for Social Development, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations with an interest in the matter to make contributions to the work entrusted to the Ad Hoc Committee, based on the practice of the United Nations.”
The First Session of the Ad Hoc Committee took place from 29 July to 9 August 2002. In preparation to its second session the Ad Hoc Committee decided to seek views and suggestions on a convention by States and all relevant international, regional and national organizations.
At its Second Session, from 16-27 June 2003, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to establish a Working Group with the aim of preparing and presenting a draft text of a convention, which would be the basis for negotiation by Member States. The Group would take into account all previous contributions submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee.
The Working Group, composed of representatives of Member States, non-governmental organizations and a national human rights institution, met from 5 to 16 January 2004.
In accordance with General Assembly Resolution 58/246, the Ad Hoc Committee started its negotiation on a draft convention at its Third Session from 24 May to 4 June 2004, based on the draft text prepared by the Working Group.
The Committee completed two readings of the draft text during its Third, Fourth (23 August to 3 September 2004), Fifth (24 January to 4 February 2005) and Sixth Sessions (1-12 August 2005).
At its Seventh Session, from16 January to 3 February 2006, the Ad Hoc Committee considered a draft text proposed by the Chair, reflecting the work of the Committee.
At its Eight session from 14 to 25 August 2006, the Ad Hoc Committee adopted the draft text of the Convention including an optional protocol, as a whole, without a vote. The Ad Hoc Committee decided to establish an open-ended drafting group tasked with ensuring uniformity of terminology throughout the text of the draft convention and harmonizing the versions in the official languages of the United Nations. At its resumed meeting of the Eight session on 5 December 2006, the Chairman of the drafting group presented an oral report on the results of its work and The Committee forwarded the draft final report with the text of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as amended, and the optional protocol, to the General Assembly for adoption.
On 13 December 2006, the Plenary of the General Asssembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol by consensus.The Convention and the Optional Protocol were be open for signature by all States and by regional integration organizations at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 30 March 2007.
The Convention came into force on 3 May 2008.
Sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee