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Back to: Third Session of the Ad Hoc Committee
Daily summary of discussions

Daily summary of discussions related to

UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Third session of the Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
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Volume 4, #9
June 4, 2004

Commenced: 10:17 AM
Recessed for informals: 10:48 AM
Reconvened: 11:15 AM
Adjourned: 12:55 PM

Ireland (EU) circulated its proposed amendments. The Convention Title should read: “International Convention on the Full and Equal Enjoyment of all Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by Persons with Disabilities,” in order to focus on those ideas. In Preamble (c), (P(c)), because PWD are already guaranteed the full enjoyment of human rights under other Conventions, it proposed replacing “the need for PWD to be” with “and that PWD are.” The revised paragraph would read: “Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and that PWD are guaranteed their full enjoyment without discrimination.” It proposed deleting from P(d), “and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families,” because this has not reached the same status as the others listed and is not a core human rights document. In P(f), it proposed replacing “violation of” with “affront to” because violations refer to rights not dignity. It suggested replacing, in the first clause of P(h), “the efforts and actions” with “these various instruments and undertakings.” It proposed replacing P(i) with the language of footnote 4: “Recognising the importance of international cooperation for improving the living conditions of PWD in every country, in particular in the developing countries.” In P(j), it suggested removing “and the eradication of poverty” because P(j) already discusses significant advances in the human, social, and economic development which includes eradicating poverty. In P(m), it proposed the deletion of the words “forms of,” and inclusion of “sexual orientation” in the list of multiple or aggravated discrimination. It suggested addressing the particular problems women and girls with disabilities face in P(n)(bis): “Recognising that women and girls with disabilities are often subject to multiple discrimination and therefore suffer particular disadvantage.” Additionally it proposed moving the first sentence of Article 12 into the Preamble as P(n)(ter): “Recognising that PWD, in particular women and girls, are at greater risk, both within and outside the home, of violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual exploitation and abuse.” The EU suggested revising P(o) to read: “Recognising that a disproportionately large number of PWD live in conditions of poverty and mindful of the need to alleviate the negative impact of poverty on PWD.” In P(r), it suggested replacing “the human rights of” with “the enjoyment of human rights by” on the first line because existing human rights documents already deal with the rights themselves, while this Convention deals with PWD enjoying those rights; and deleting the word “social” on the third line because there is no need to qualify the term “disadvantage”. It proposed adding a new paragraph, P(s), as follows: “Recognising the particular circumstances of the child with disabilities and that the child with disabilities should enjoy the right to a full and inclusive life in conditions that ensure dignity, promote self reliance and autonomy and facilitate their active participation in the community.” It does not support a separate article, but believes it is important in the Preamble.

Chile was not ready to address the Preamble, but commented on the importance of recognising Conference against Racism, Xenophobia and other Related Forms of Discrimination, which gave rise to this Convention. In P(o), dealing with poverty, it proposed adding a reference to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) related to poverty. It also recommended adding a reference to human development indices, since the Convention is designed to raise the development indices of the entire population, particularly of PWD.

The Holy See recommended, in the interest of completeness, amending P(a) by inserting “worth” after “inherent dignity.” This wording is taken from Preamble paragraph 2 of the UN Charter.

Thailand supported the WG Preamble, and suggested adding to P(g), after “recognizing further the diversity of PWD,“ the words "their needs and requirements.” It suggested changing "economical" to "economic."

Russian Federation (RF) commented that the draft Convention and Preamble only talks about rights of PWD, followed by the obligations of States. The ICESCR takes into account “that each individual has obligations with respect to other individuals and the society to which he belongs, should seek encouragement and compliance of the rights set forth in this Covenant.” Similarly, this Convention’s Preamble should recognize the obligations or responsibilities of PWD. It also proposed inclusion of ICESCR, Article 2 in the Preamble: “Each State must take full account within its existing resources of measures to ensure gradual, full implementation of the rights set forth in this Covenant by all possible and appropriate means.”

Syria proposed an amendment to P(i), similar to the EU's proposed amendment: “Recognizing that international cooperation is important in improving the conditions and circumstances of PWD, especially in the developing countries.” Because the present draft does not include the realities and concerns of many delegations, the words “and foreign occupation of the other’s territories and properties” should be inserted after “armed conflict in P(p)."

Kenya proposed three new paragraphs. The first would read: “Recognizing that many persons with disabilities suffer double or multiple discrimination because of their status as children, women, refugees or internally displaced, older persons, people living in rural areas and people living in informal settlements.” The second would read: “Noting with concern that there exists, in various parts of the world, harmful cultural practices and beliefs that have continued to impact negatively on the rights of PWD.” The third would read: “Recognizing that HIV/AIDS impacts negatively on PWD in all spheres of life.”

Sierra Leone pointed out that procedural discussions are necessary because they guide the AHC's actions and may help to avoid problems. It supported the EU's proposed Convention title change, so that it would read “The international convention on the protection, promotion, and full enjoyment of the rights and dignity of PWD.” In P(c), the words “be guaranteed” should be deleted. P(d) should remain as it stands, notwithstanding the footnote and comments of the EU as to the status of Convention on Migrant workers. It supported Thailand’s proposal for P(g), and the EU’s proposals for P(i) and P(o). In P(m), “age” should be inserted after “language,” because children tend to be marginalized. In P(p), “situations of” should be deleted, “s” should be added to “conflict,” making it “conflicts,” and “human” should be deleted. In P(r), “full enjoyment of the rights of PWD” should be inserted after “specifically with the” and insert “and economic” after “profound social.” It supported the EU’s proposed P(s) on children, in order to create linkage between the Preamble and text; it supports a separate article on children as well. In the absence of a consensus on separate articles for women and the other groups that have been discussed, these might be included in one paragraph in the Preamble to capture the substance of these concerns.

Israel stated the Preamble sets the tone for the Convention and assists in the construction of other instruments. In the title, it is crucially important to retain “dignity” in the title, which can be in addition to, but not in place of, “equality"; dignity is a broader term, while equality is the major issue facing PWD. In P(d), it supported the EU’s proposal to delete the reference to the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as this does not rank as a leading human rights convention. P(m) should include “age.” It is necessary to mention children, women and girls with disabilities in the Preamble to create a link with other Conventions. However, it would not be advisable to include these in the operative provisions of the Convention because that may interfere with other Conventions. It proposed an additional, more explicit paragraph, as follows: “Recognizing that a comprehensive, integral, interdisciplinary approach to issues facing PWD is essential to the achievement of full and effective equality for PWD.”

Morocco supported retaining the reference to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families in P(d). In P(g), “disabilities” should be made singular, amending the phrase to “persons with disability.”

Korea supported the EU’s proposal for a shorter Convention title, which fully captures the spirit and purpose of this Convention. In P(l), “and take leading roles” should be inserted after “actively involved.”

Brazil supported the EU’s proposals to add sexual orientation to P(m) and other amendments to P(o).

South Africa proposed added in P(c), “any form of” before "discrimination.” P(g) should should be changed to “Recognizing that PWD are not a homogenous group, but are diverse in their own right,” because disability is part of humanity. In P(h), “equitable” should be inserted before “participation as equal members of society.” P(i) should read: “Emphasizing the importance of international cooperation to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of PWD.” In P(l), “especially those directly concerning them” should be deleted, as it is extraneous and presents the risk of involving PWD only in disability matters. P(p) should be amended to read: “Concerned that situations of armed conflict cause disabilities and have devastating consequences for the human rights of PWD.” In P(q), “political” should be inserted after “physical” and “and cultural” should be inserted after “economic,” because this captures the language and values of the ICCPR and ICESCR.

Canada supported the EU's and Israel’s proposals to delete the Migrant Workers Convention from P(d) referring to footnote 2. In P(m), “severe or multiple disabilities and of” should be deleted, as it creates a hierarchy within the disability community and echoes a medical model rather than a social model of disability. The word “ethnic,” should be inserted after “national” in P(m), in order to bring it into line with Article 2.1 of the CRC. It supported the EU’s proposal for P(r), but the words “with equal opportunities” should be deleted, as its meaning is unclear. Canada may have additional comments later.

Yemen recommended a clearer re-wording of the Preamble and would submit proposed text later. In P(d), it is not enough to mention CRC and CEDAW; there should also be specific reference to the conditions in which WWD and CWD are living. In P(i), it is important to highlight international cooperation, both here and in the Convention text. In P(m), Yemen suggested deleting “severe and multiple disabilities” to eliminate redundancy. In P(p), it highlighted that the current language does not reflect the situation on the ground and recommended adding “and foreign occupation of territories and assets of others” after “armed conflict,” as proposed by Syria, because foreign occupation creates conditions in which PWD cannot exercise their rights. At the end of P(p), it suggested adding “and an increase in their number.” In P(q), it suggested adding “political and cultural” after “economic,” and deleting “including information and communication," because it is included in the concept of culture.

Cuba made some proposals, reserving the option to make future proposals. It supported P(c) as currently drafted. It supported Chile's proposal to include an acknowledgment of Convention's origins at the World Conference on Racism. It proposed adding a new paragraph following P(d), which reads: “Recognizing that the exercise of the right to development, as a universal inalienable right, is a prerequisite to the integral and sustainable meeting of the needs of PWD.” In P(i), it proposed adding “all” before “human rights.” Similarly in P(j), it proposed adding “all” before “their human rights.” In P(m), it supported deleting “severe or multiple disabilities” to avoid making distinctions among PWD. In P(n) and P(r), it suggested adding “all” before “human rights.” In P(o), it proposed replacing “mindful of the need” with “concerned by the need” because the problem of poverty should be addressed with the same degree of concern as persons in armed conflict; and it proposed replacing “alleviate” with the stronger term “eradicate.” It stated that the Preamble should address the need for solidarity, both “nationally and internationally.”

India proposed amending P(g), because the word “diversity” could mean range of either disabilities or social and economic conditions; it suggested new text: “Recognizing the wide range of abilities, skills, functional competencies and concerns of PWD.” In P(I), it suggested replacing the word “emphasizing” with “recognizing” to strengthen international cooperation. It reiterated its support for a separate Article on international cooperation. In P(l), after “PWD," it proposed inserting “and their families.” In P(o), it suggested inserting at the beginning the words: “Mindful, that conditions of poverty can exacerbate the incidents and situations of PWD.”

Palestine emphasized the need to highlight “the rights of different groups” in the Preamble because some PWD are more vulnerable, but it does not want to create discrimination between PWD. It supported the proposals by Syria and Yemen to add the concept of foreign occupation and armed conflict since these lead to increases in the number of PWD, and occupation deprives PWD of certain services and development.

Namibia suggested adding “United Nations” before “Standard Rules” in P(e). In P(i), it suggested deleting “emphasizing” as India proposed, and adding a reference to the principles of international cooperation. In P(j), it suggested replacing “made by” with “of.” In P(l), it suggested deleting the last part of the paragraph, “especially those concerning them”; PWD can be involved with all kinds of decisionmaking. In P(m), it supported deletion of “severe and multiple disabilities,” retaining only “PWD.”

Pakistan suggested deleting “comprehensive and integral” from the title to conform with other conventions and to avoid qualifying the Convention’s scope. In P(b), it suggested deleting “and in the International Covenants on Human Rights” since it has not been universally accepted. In P(d), it proposed replacing “reaffirming” with “recalling” since not all Conventions have universal acceptance; but Pakistan stated that all of these instruments should remain in the paragraph. In P(g), it agreed with India’s proposal, except instead of “diversity of persons” it suggested “recognizing further the diverse nature of disabilities.” In P(i), it agreed with the need for a separate Article on international cooperation, because an international Convention needs international cooperation for implementation. In P(l), Pakistan supported India’s proposal to include families, and proposed adding “and caregivers.” In P(m), it proposed not listing all forms of discrimination because it cannot be exhaustive and may lead to division or, if there is a list, it should be in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In P(r), it proposed changing the beginning to: “Convinced that a Convention addressing specifically the rights and dignity of PWD”; and at end of the paragraph, it would substitute “spheres” with “activities.”

Argentina supported Morocco's amendment to delete “persons with” in P(g). P(h) has a translation error in Spanish. Paragraph P(i) should be replaced with footnote 4. In P(m), it suggested deleting “severe or” because this term is unclear. In P(o), it suggested a revision as follows: “Mindful of the need to alleviate the negative impact of poverty on causing disabilities and the quality of life of PWD.”

Lebanon agreed with the Syria’s proposal to add “foreign occupation” to P(p), and agreed with the proposed amendment by Sierra Leone. In P(i), it emphasized the importance of including international cooperation in the Preamble; international cooperation offers benefits to all countries. After the words “international cooperation” should be inserted “because of its multi-faceted benefits to all member countries”; after “enjoyment” should be added “all PWD”; and before “human rights” should be added the word “all.” In P(g), it agreed with the addition proposed by Thailand and Morocco. In P(j), it proposed replacing “societies” with “communities.” In P(m), it agreed with the proposal by Canada and Yemen to delete “severe and multiple”; and it proposed adding “and the kind and degree of disability” after “language,” and deleting “multiple or aggravated” before “forms of discrimination."

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