Advancing the rights of persons with disabilities
Cementing and protecting the rights of around 1.5 billion people around the world in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a “moral imperative”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 12 June, as he addressed the opening of the 11th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD at UN Headquarters in New York. He described the Convention, adopted in 2006 and entering into force in 2008, as one of the most widely-ratified international human rights treaties, reaffirming that people with disabilities are entitled to the same treatment as everybody else.
“But signing and ratifying the Convention is not enough. Implementation is essential,” Mr. Guterres said. “Societies must be organized so that all people, including those with disabilities, can exercise their rights freely.”
This is exactly the purpose of the Conference of States Parties, which meets annually to assess the Convention and its realization across the globe. As this year’s meeting concluded on 14 June, we asked Daniela Bas, Director of UN DESA’s Division for Inclusive Social Development, about the current status of the Convention and about the outcome of this year’s event.
The international community met to assess how the world is doing when it comes to realizing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). What did the event conclude; how are we doing?
“States parties […] recognized that, while great progress has been made over the ten years since the CRPD entered into force, there is still much to be done to achieve sustainable development for persons with disabilities, really ensuring no one is left behind in our society.”
This event, the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD, meets every year. What did we accomplish this year? Were we able to advance the CRPD?
“This year’s Conference was another success. Over 1400 delegates from 180 States Parties participated, including a Vice president, a First Lady and more than 30 ministers, high-level officials, and the UN Secretary-General. Moreover, 68 events were organized on the sidelines. And the conference held elections that made the Committee more gender balanced. The great and high-level participation and the substantive discussions significantly promoted the implementation of the CRPD and also the achievement of the SDGs for all.”
177 countries have so far ratified CRPD, can we expect more countries to get on board soon?
“Yes, 177 countries are leading by example, and with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, more will join to leave no one behind.”
How are the SDGs helping in advancing and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities?
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda (SDGs) are a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world. They are for all people of all ages and have a positive impact on the lives of everyone.”
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