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Back to: Fourth Session of the Ad Hoc Committee
Summaries of the Fourth Session

Daily summary of discussion at the fourth session
31 August 2004


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UN Convention on the Human Rights of People with Disabilities
Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary

A service made possible by Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), Handicap International (HI) and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR),
with the financial support of the Governments of Mexico and New Zealand.

Volume 5, #7
August 31, 2004



The Facilitator Mr. Ainchil (Argentina) would focus the group on drafting. Flexibility is requested, with brief explanations and focusing on common ground. Discrepancies will be reflected in footnotes. The Working Group draft text is the default. The group will first address structure as reflected in the chapeau, then move to specific substantive points. Should the chapeau be long, or short with bullet points, or use the WG draft?

New Zealand asked to reserve its position on the phrase “within their jurisdiction,” which is a point it made previously. It asked the Facilitator if he might suggest specific text for a shorter chapeau for delegations to consider.

The Facilitator provided three chapeau options: [1] the WG proposal with reference to “human rights and fundamental freedoms”; [2] the New Zealand proposal of two paragraphs followed by bullet points; [3] the Mexican proposal which would read “In order to achieve the purpose of the present convention the states parties undertake,” with the reference to ensuring all human rights and fundamental freedoms appearing as one of the bullet points. A shorter chapeau would build on the Mexican proposal.

Senegal indicated the African Group’s agreement to shorten the chapeau.

Canada supported a shorter chapeau but hesitates to lose the reference to “human rights and fundamental freedoms” which is what the treaty is about. It could accept the Mexican proposal with this reference in the chapeau instead of as a bullet point. The chapeau in the Compilation could be used, including the reference.

The Facilitator inquired whether retention of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the first bullet point would be acceptable? Canada responded that the importance of keeping the reference in the chapeau is that that it is an underlying principle that informs all the other obligations. It thus prefers to retain the reference in the chapeau.

The Netherlands (EU) did not have major difficulties with the WG text, but favours concise formulations. Article 4(1) is closely related to the purpose in Article 1, the WG text for which the EU strongly supports. With a clearly articulated purpose the Facilitator’s proposal could be acceptable though it must discuss this with its group.

New Zealand supported the EU and Canada. Without agreement on Article 1 it is difficult to know the implications of the Mexican proposal here. Although it prefers concise formulations, it does not wish to see the chapeau weakened.

The Facilitator asked delegations to address the possibility of retaining the WG formulation, as not too much time should be spent here on the chapeau.

Chile did not have any problems with the WG proposal, or the reference to “jurisdiction.” It is flexible on the Facilitator’s proposal, provided it could be given a second reading.

Norway did not have major problems with the WG text, but would like to stress the nexus between this chapeau and Article 1. If Article 1 contains a strong and unequivocal formulation on ensuring all human rights and fundamental freedoms, there is room for more flexibility in this chapeau, along the lines of the Mexican proposal.

Mexico stated the aim of its proposal was to clearly reflect the aims of the convention in a manner that would be clear, strong, and agreeable to everyone. The general obligations should be brief, and consistent with the stated goals of the convention. Although many have said that they do not have problems with the WG chapeau formulation, there are “three or four square brackets which reflect duplication of discussion.” Mexico would like “both proposals to be kept consistent.”

China made two points: [1] the primary obligation of States Parties under the general obligations is to ensure the purpose of the treaty is realized. Mexico’s proposal is concise, reflects China’s, and it is a good basis for discussion. [2] although China submitted a proposal for the chapeau, it is willing to accept the Mexican proposal.

Republic of Korea expressed support for a succinct chapeau, such as the Mexican proposal. However, it prefers to preserve substantive elements in the chapeau, such as ensuring all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as noted by Canada. This could be achieved if a reference to ensuring all human rights and fundamental freedoms were included in the purpose of the convention.

The Facilitator sought reactions to combining the two proposals, saying “In order to achieve the purpose of the present Convention, States Parties undertake:” and then follow with the WG text. One footnote at “purpose” would indicate the nexus with Article 1, and another footnote reflect discussion on “jurisdiction.”

The Netherlands (EU) questioned how the article would then read and what the chapeau would then mean? For the EU the purpose of the convention is clearly the “full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities,” but it has difficulty understanding the chapeau in light of the new language. If purpose is referenced it must be clear what is being discussed, which is one of the reasons why the EU would like to know when Articles 1 and 2 will be discussed. It is difficult to talk about “purpose” or understand the chapeau if the purpose is not agreed.

New Zealand felt the combined proposals lost the intended benefits of the shorter formulation. It also shares the EU’s concerns that the purpose is not yet agreed, as well as what might then follow from the chapeau, in particular to deal with the distinction between civil, political, and economic, social and cultural rights. The desire to clearly distinguish between the types of rights led to New Zealand’s proposal on this article.

Jordan supported the need to keep the text concise. It is too early to merge proposals, without conclusion on Article 1. It has difficulty with the phrase “within their jurisdiction,” and could only agree to its inclusion if “and or under their control” were added after.

Lebanon preferred a short and concise chapeau for the reasons given by Mexico, having itself proposed that sort of wording before. Wording depends on Article 1.

The Facilitator noted the view that the first part of the chapeau should align with, either by repeating the same language or making a reference to, the purpose of the treaty. There are two options to proceed, each which will have to be adjusted in light of Article 1: [1] retain the WG text, with a footnote that it will be adjusted in line with Article 1; or [2] the Mexican proposal with the same footnote. It is understandable that delegations want “safeguards” in the text so that their concerns will be respected. The “safety valve” in this case is a footnote.

Mexico very much understood the concerns of others, and found the Facilitator’s proposed solution adequate.

The Netherlands (EU) was unclear if it correctly understood the proposal. It would not oppose putting the Mexican or other proposals in a footnote to assist discussions. Without repeating earlier arguments, it stresses this section will depend upon final text for Article 1. It would be best to keep the WG text rather than using the Mexican proposal and footnoting the WG proposal. The EU would prefer not to see numerous proposals bracketed, as it understood such issues should be addressed in footnotes.

The Facilitator clarified that the intention was not to add an additional footnote, but to have one footnote. The WG draft text footnotes would not be retained in order to streamline the text. The footnote would include a sentence saying the chapeau will later be aligned with the purpose, once Article 1 is agreed upon.

Senegal stated the African Group accepted the Facilitator’s proposal with a footnote.

The Netherlands (EU) expressed continued confusion about how the proposal would be reflected. It also noted that when the group was not drafting there were big screens displaying proposals, but now drafting has started there are no screens. The screens would be very helpful for delegates to be sure which proposals are being discussed.

The Facilitator apologized that the screens would be unavailable.

Sierra Leone noted that in the January WG meeting they worked at this level of drafting without screens. It suggested the Facilitator read his proposal again slowly.

The Facilitator thanked Sierra Leone for its suggestion. The proposal would be to keep verbatim the WG language, with one footnote after “jurisdiction” repeating more or less the WG footnote on that issue. Another footnote would appear after “disability,” saying “the content of this sentence will be adjusted to the final drafting of Article 1.” The footnote can also raise the possibility of using the Mexican proposal.

Jordan did not have major difficulties with a footnote, though its preference is not to use footnotes. It could accept the Facilitator’s proposal as long as Jordan’s proposed amendment regarding “jurisdiction” can be included in the relevant footnote.

India supported the New Zealand amendment for Article 4(1). In particular it wishes to delete “within their jurisdiction” because some countries face problems of illegal immigrants and there cannot be any obligations under this treaty for illegal immigrants.

Canada would be content with the Facilitator’s proposal. Having once proposed deletion of “within their jurisdiction” it could accept this deletion. It does not wish to see additions to the WG text. “Under their control” would introduce a concept never before used in international human rights law and opens more questions than it settles, such as what constitutes “control” over an individual by a State? As a major contributor to international peace-keeping operations it raises huge issues for Canada, and “we would not in any circumstances accept that addition to the text.” For reasons similar to India’s, it expands the scope of the treaty far beyond that in prior international human rights law.

The Facilitator asked delegates to also respond to the phrase “within their jurisdiction.”

Senegal stated the African Group preferred “jurisdiction” retained in the chapeau.

Jordan agreed with Canada that the concept of “control” is not reflected in international instruments, but case law reflects this emerging concept. It can live with deletion of “within their jurisdiction,“ but if the phrase is retained “we will insist on our amendment.”

The Facilitator noted the question of “jurisdiction” took much time in prior discussions. His perception is that “within their jurisdiction” is limiting and if other contexts are also addressed, there can be difficulties in how these additional contexts are described. Deletion of the phrase might imply coverage of all contexts, and in so doing all possibilities could be addressed. Could Senegal elaborate its position?

Senegal stated it would have to first consult the other members of the African Group.

Costa Rica accepted the Facilitator’s proposal which seems to have solid support. The phrase “within their jurisdiction” appears to be a compromise and could be too limiting given that the majority here believe international cooperation is absolutely necessary. Limiting obligations to state borders is a reflection of state sovereignty, but how that operates depends upon how state sovereignty is exercised. It supports elimination of “within their jurisdiction.”

Mexico supported the Facilitator’s proposal to use the WG text and have a footnote, but queried whether its proposed text would also be referenced in the footnote, as is done in other WG footnotes. Mexico supports the deletion of the phrase “within their jurisdiction” for reasons provided by Canada and Costa Rica.

The Facilitator indicated his intention was to include Mexico’s proposal in the footnote. There appears to be quite a lot of support for deletion of “within their jurisdiction”. He proposes deleting the phrase and, following consultations of the African Group, if that group cannot live with the deletion a footnote will be provided on the matter.

The Netherlands (EU) understood the concerns of New Zealand and the discussions of the WG regarding “within their jurisdiction.” However, it is unclear what legal obligations States Parties would be taking upon themselves if this phrase were deleted. The remaining formulation would be one not seen in any of the human rights conventions, and although it assumes interpretation of the text would be more limited, it would need to seek legal advice. The EU has reservations about further amending the chapeau language here, given that it will be revisited once agreements have been reached on Article 1. The way to proceed may be to leave the chapeau language as it is, with footnotes to reflect points made by various delegations, and revisit it in more detail later.

The Facilitator acknowledged it “does not really make sense to engage in this” if the whole sentence will be reshaped in light of Article 1. For now the text would retain the WG formulation, with one footnote indicating that the sentence will be adjusted according to Article 1, and referencing the Mexican proposal. Another footnote would incorporate WG FN 20 discussing “within their jurisdiction” and the Jordan proposal.

Sierra Leone suggested the footnote on “jurisdiction” should not merely reproduce the WG footnote but simply state that the issue was not resolved and then include the Jordanian proposal. If anyone wants to read WG FN 20 they can, but this would help reduce the size of the document.

The Facilitator indicated he would proceed in the manner suggested. The group should now move to Article 4(1)(a). Building upon the very extensive discussion yesterday, it was clear that the group should base (a) on the text of CRC Article 4, and then try to add some of the ideas discussed yesterday, such as the proposal from India.

Jordan sought clarification whether “within their jurisdiction” would be bracketed, as this would be Jordan’s preference.

The Facilitator clarified there would be a footnote, but in light of the very clear request of the Coordinator and the technical difficulties faced in reading brackets, it would not be bracketed. However, the footnote would have the same practical and political meaning usually accorded brackets in UN discussion, and he requested Jordan’s flexibility.

Senegal announced that, following consultations, the African Group would like to see “jurisdiction” retained in the chapeau. It would then like to see the language currently reflected in Article 4(1)(a) reflected instead in Article 4(1)(b).

The Facilitator thanked Senegal for its comments, which he felt would be reflected in his proposal to retain the WG chapeau language and capture concerns on this issue in a footnote. He asked the group to move to Article 4(1)(a). The general sense of the discussion yesterday was to build upon the language of CRC Article 4, though deleting “States Parties undertake” and beginning “to adopt,” in order to reflect the placement of the language in a sub paragraph. To include the elements raised yesterday by India, ICESCR Article 2(1) could be incorporated, so that after “international cooperation” in the CRC language it would read “with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present convention.”

Thailand believed there should be a place which acknowledges that there are aspects of rights capable of immediate implementation and which should be given immediate effect. With that included Thailand can go along with the CRC text.

The Facilitator repeated his proposal following a request to do so from Senegal.

The Netherlands (EU) would prefer the CRC language in a separate paragraph 4(2), rather than in (a). At AHC3 it proposed an amendment to this language, as in the framework of this treaty it is inappropriate to speak of “implementation of the rights recognized in the present convention.” Its amendment reads “for the implementation of the present Convention.” Regarding progressive realization, it will have to take any proposal back to its group, but preliminarily suggests the ICESCR Article 2(1) language would more naturally fit after “available resources” than at the end of the paragraph.

Sierra Leone asked if it would be possible for Thailand to provide suggested language.

Canada agreed with the EU that rather than having this important language become a “sub sub paragraph” it should instead become Article 4(2). It would be content with the slight reformulation as provided by the EU. Canada seeks clarification concerning addition of ICESCR Article 2(1). Yesterday Canada proposed language reading “with a view to achieving their progressive realization,” making it clear that it refers specifically to economic, social and cultural rights. Canada is fairly flexible regarding placement of this qualification, and sees some merit in the EU proposal that the insertion follow “available resources,” though this is not something it feels strongly about.

Thailand indicated its proposal would fit with the idea of having the paragraph on economic, social and cultural rights as a separate paragraph. The language would read, “With regard to economic, social and cultural rights States Parties undertake to a) give immediate effect to the aspects of those rights which are capable of immediate implementation, including but not limited to obligations of non-discrimination in the enjoyment of those rights and b) in relation to other aspects of those rights … “ and then the CRC language would start.

Senegal stated the Facilitator’s proposal looked very interesting, but it would provide its position after consultations with the African Group.

The Facilitator noted that incorporating the CRC language in a separate paragraph would either lead to repetition of concepts currently in (a), or it could lead to a “strange flow” of concepts related to adoption of legislative and other measures, because in (a) there would be an obligation to amend laws and then some paragraphs later there would be a reference to promoting laws. He sought guidance on this issue from those delegations who expressed a preference for the CRC language in its own paragraph.

Canada did not see the difficulty described by the Facilitator. The new sub paragraph would merely clarify the extent of the obligations set out previously in sub paragraph 4(1). The placement would be appropriate and make the level of obligations clear. Regarding the Thai proposal, Canada objects to the characterization of the right not to be discriminated against as an economic, social and cultural right. The right is contained in ICCPR Article 26, and to characterize it as coming from a different source, namely the ICESCR, “would be a rather unfortunate misstatement of international law on this point” that Canada would not find particularly helpful in this context.

Mexico supported including progressive realization in a separate paragraph. Acknowledging it may not flow well, one solution would be to avoid repetition of the common elements, and begin Article 4(2), “With regard to economic, social and cultural rights.” That would still have application to all the measures listed previously in Article 4(1). Mexico understood the agreement yesterday that using the formulation and including an explicit reference to progressive realization would address the concerns of Thailand regarding division of rights that are to be immediately implemented and those not. Mexico continues to feel this separation is not necessary and as the Facilitator’s wording is appropriate it does not feel Thai proposal is necessary.

New Zealand addressed flow of the article. If the WG draft with its reference to “all” human rights and fundamental freedoms is accepted, to then in a sub paragraph qualify this with a different formula for economic, social and cultural rights seems contradictory. It is for this reason that New Zealand suggested this distinction be made earlier in the article and in a stand-alone paragraph modeled on the CRC. New Zealand’s immediate reaction to the proposal introducing progressive realization from the ICESCR into the CRC wording is that the placement of it is as the EU suggested.

The Facilitator summarized discussions. Delegations prefer to have this idea as a stand-alone paragraph. We will not repeat today the discussions from yesterday where the decision was to use CRC language and try to incorporate the idea of progressive realization. He read the suggested language for what will be called for now sub paragraph (4), with minor adjustments as suggested: “States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the present convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources with a view to achieving their progressive realization and where needed within the framework of international cooperation.”

Costa Rica agreed with New Zealand. The proposal as read appears to be the New Zealand proposal with progressive realization added, and Costa Rica supports this. However, if this is a point of conflict, and if there is agreement, the generic New Zealand proposal could be used, making the article easier to understand. Regarding the Thai proposal, as a measure of flexibility, there could be reference to the immediate realization of those aspects of rights that can be realized immediately. Costa Rica agrees with Canada that non-discrimination is a civil and political right, but it is also a cross-cutting right. The New Zealand proposal appears to cover all concerns raised and Costa Rica would like to know if that proposal has acceptance in the room.

The Facilitator also wanted to hear if the text is accepted prior to discussing placement.

Serbia and Montenegro preferred the CRC text and has no objection to a specific provision on progressive realization as suggested by India, with placement as suggested by the EU and New Zealand. Regarding flow, the Mexican suggestion could be helpful. The second sentence of CRC Article 4 could be placed in the chapeau to read, “States Parties undertake to ensure the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all individuals without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability within their jurisdiction. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources with a view to achieving their progressive realization and where needed within the framework of international cooperation.” There would then be no problem “to go along with sub paragraph (a) of 4(1).” The phrase “without discrimination of any kind” hopefully addresses the Thai concerns. The concept of immediate realization could be incorporated later, though the phrase “to the maximum extent of their available resources” already addresses this “if implemented in good faith.”

The Facilitator queried whether Serbia and Montenegro’s proposal could be incorporated at this stage, given that it is linked to the pending discussion on purpose.

The Netherlands (EU) noted that progressive realization has yet to be discussed by the EU group, but finds the Facilitator’s formula interesting, and a good basis to proceed.

New Zealand appreciated the proposal of Serbia and Montenegro, but expressed concern that the contradiction would still remain between “full realization of all human rights” and then the different formula for economic, social and cultural rights. There should be internal consistency between sentences and paragraphs. The Thai proposal raises interesting issues, and New Zealand would appreciate a written copy to consider.

Thailand could not “confidently” agree to the Facilitator’s proposal. It is not yet convinced the language captures the idea of giving immediate effect to those aspects of rights capable of such. Many delegations appear to be of the view that economic, social and cultural rights are automatically subject to progressive realization and cannot immediately implemented, but it believes some aspects of those rights are capable of such. It would be willing to submit its proposal in writing if there is a mechanism for that.

The Facilitator noted the Thai proposal is essentially captured in the Compilation document immediately before 4(2). The intention here is not to reopen discussions of yesterday, when 2 options were discussed: [1] to introduce the concept of progressive realization; or [2] to introduce the concept of giving immediate effect. As instructed by the Coordinator, the focus is on the first option, drawing on the CRC and ICESCR.

Cuba expressed satisfaction with the structure of the New Zealand proposal. It agrees with the first paragraph and the discussion just held on the WG paragraph. Perhaps some of the Mexican suggestions could also be included. It supports the treatment of CRC Article 4 and the Indian proposal to include progressive realization. This should be a separate paragraph as proposed by New Zealand. Various sub paragraph options as covered in Article 4(1) could then be considered.

Kenya supported the Facilitator’s proposal based on the CRC and including progressive realization. The language is inclusive and addresses issues of both immediate and progressive implementation. “Immediate” implementation need not be expressly stated, as this will be measured on the basis of eg when a State joins the treaty. Kenya could support this as a stand alone paragraph, but does not wish to lose concepts currently in WG Article 4(1)(a), such as addressing customs and practices inconsistent with the treaty. These concepts could perhaps be reflected elsewhere in this article.

The Facilitator clarified that 4(1)(a) has not yet been reached in the discussions.

Sierra Leone supported the Facilitator’s proposal. It suggests incorporating the idea that some rights that could be effected immediately, as proposed by Thailand. Language drawn from the Compilation document could be added, reading “to give immediate effect to those aspects of those rights that are capable of immediate implementation.” It hopes this suggestion would be acceptable to Thailand.

The Facilitator suggested this proposal could be inserted after “undertake” and then it would be followed by “and in relation to other aspects of those rights to adopt such measures … “ with the rest the same. It is very long but includes all the ideas so far.

Costa Rica suggested Sierra Leone’s proposal could be addressed by partially incorporating the Indian proposal, excluding the reference to non-discrimination which does not belong here for the reasons given by Canada. After “international cooperation” the text would read, “States Parties undertake to give immediate effect to those aspects of those rights which are capable of immediate implementation.” This qualifies the commitments of States Parties regarding economic, social and cultural rights.

Japan preferred the New Zealand text, which is concise and addresses all concerns. Although “progressive realization” is in the ICESCR, it should not be focused on here as it may give States an excuse not to realize economic, social and cultural rights. The phrase “maximum extent of available” resources should sufficiently address the Thai and Indian concerns. If progressive realization must be included the Thai proposal may need to be incorporated, though Japan’s preference is for a more concise text.

Lebanon supported the Thai proposal, but does not wish to “divide rights up” by explicitly referencing economic, social and cultural rights.

The Netherlands (EU) was concerned the discussions were moving the wrong way. It does not understand what problem is addressed in the Thai proposal and is concerned the Thai proposal is “creating a new kind of human rights law.” References to “rights capable of immediate implementation” wrongly implies that rights “have the ability to implement themselves.” Non-discrimination is also misplaced, as it is not an economic, social and cultural right. The Facilitator’s proposal covers all issues and it “does not think we should add other concepts, in particular ones which are not understandable.”

Colombia supported the Costa Rican proposal and wishes to include its proposed new Article 7 bis as a new sub paragraph of Article 4.

Thailand did not understand why the concept of immediate implementation was not readily understandable, and is willing to discuss this further. It appreciates the proposals of Sierra Leone and Costa Rica, and could accept either formulation.

Mexico clarified that in terms of structure, it prefers to see these concepts in chapeau, a separate paragraph. It is “appalled” to see yesterday’s discussions resumed. It supports the Facilitator’s proposal. It believes progressive realization implies that some aspects of rights may be implemented immediately and others gradually, and so it cannot support the Thai and similar proposals that “give us a conceptual problem.”

Australia shared concerns the paragraph is “expanding.” The CRC language is appropriate, and it agrees with Japan the additional reference to progressive realization may have “led to the desire for a counterbalancing provision in relation to immediate implementation.” The CRC language, with or without “progressive realization” is sufficient, and it is concerned about adding additional language. To determine content of this provision, understanding of the article’s structure and flow is needed. In that regard it supports the Serbia and Montenegro proposal to use the second part of the CRC text, either in the chapeau or “up top” in the article’s opening.

The Facilitator spoke to the structure; the intent would be to have these ideas in a separate paragraph. Placement could be addressed later, or the New Zealand approach could be used and the paragraph moved up, though this could generate more problems. The language would be as he read earlier: the CRC language including reference to progressive realization. After “international cooperation” a footnote would be added addressing the proposal on immediate implementation, as there is no consensus yet on this issue.

Jordan was flexible, but it does not see the necessity of emphasizing progressive realization. To address Thai concerns it may be possible to insert the language “while taking into account the immediate implementation of some rights” following “With regard to economic, social and cultural rights,” with the rest of the paragraph unchanged.

Sierra Leone suggested language for the footnote without naming delegations, to read “One delegation suggested the inclusion of a reference to those rights that are capable of immediate implementation and others disagree.” The Facilitator agreed.

Brazil supported the Facilitator’s proposal based on CRC Article 4. Although it understands concerns about immediate implementation, it agrees with Mexico that this idea is implicit in the concept of progressive realization.

The Facilitator asked to move to Article 4(1)(a), specifically addressing the possible repetition of the first 2 lines as a result of insertion of his proposal based on CRC Article 4. Some delegations have said repetition is not a problem. He proposes leaving the first line and a half as it is, then adding the EU/China proposal in the Compilation document addressing review of policies, and finding a way to incorporate the Chinese proposal related to customs, also in the Compilation document.

China expressed support for the Facilitator’s proposal, and it’s willingness to cooperate to find wording. Regarding customs, its proposal addresses the need to ban customs not in conformity with the treaty, while acknowledging that prohibiting customs related to culture and history cannot be a state obligation.

The Netherlands (EU) did not see need for repetition of concepts addressed in the CRC-based proposal just agreed. It supports inclusion of its proposal on review and amendment of laws and regulations leading to discrimination. It does not see a strong need to include the customs proposal, but could re-examine if others feel differently.

New Zealand agreed the first part of (a) is now redundant. Its proposal incorporates concepts in the EU amendment, and strengthens the provisions relating to customs by seeking to modify or abolish those inconsistent with the treaty. It is open to discussing how far the article should go in this regard.

Jordan supported the EU comments and queried whether the Chinese proposal on customs could be captured by, or better placed in Article 5.

Costa Rica preferred not to repeat in (a) that already been agreed on. Its proposal at AHC3, not captured in the Compilation, is to “adopt measures aimed at the eradication of customs or practices which prevent or make difficult the enjoyment of human rights by PWD.” This is in line with China’s proposal. It is flexible on its inclusion in Article 5, but prefer placement in general obligations, which is stronger.

The Facilitator noted in some States, customs and practices are as important as laws. From that perspective Article 5 addresses this in a different manner. He suggests merging proposals to read “to take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws or regulations which have the effect or purpose of creating or perpetuating such discrimination wherever it exists, and discourage customs or practices that are inconsistent with this convention.”

Sudan supported the Facilitator’s proposal, but suggested adding “harmful” before “customs” as not all customs are bad. It notes Trinidad and Tobago made a similar proposal in Article 5, inserting “negative” before “stereotypes.”

Kenya supported retention of customs and practices in the general obligations and not Article 5, because this is not just a matter of attitudes. “Harmful” is redundant and implied in “inconsistent.” It supports “discourage,” as State jurisdiction over customs is not a simple matter, particularly in areas with multiple communities.

Jordan supported the proposal to merge the sub paragraphs. It supports Kenya regarding “harmful.” “Discourage” is too “watered down” and “combat” is preferred.

Serbia and Montenegro associated itself with the EU and New Zealand regarding the first part of the paragraph, and supports retention of customs here. It is flexible regarding use of “discourage” or the tougher wording of New Zealand or Costa Rica.

Canada supported the proposal. The first element is addressed in the chapeau and need not be repeated. It agrees with the EU and China wording for the second element. It is flexible on the third element regarding customs, and can support the Chinese wording. The New Zealand use of “abolish” may not be appropriate because of the reasoning given by Kenya, and “discourage” may be better.

Mexico supported the proposal and avoiding repetition. It is unsure what is meant by “creating or perpetuating such discrimination” and prefers “that are inconsistent with this Convention.” It supports retention of customs in the general obligations, though this should be addressed in Article 5 as well. It is difficult to change customs, but this should not be an excuse to perpetuate customs that prevent PWD fully enjoying human rights. The language on this issue should be no less forceful than that in existing treaties, and so the New Zealand and Costa Rican language is preferred.

Syria supported the proposal. It had preferred to address customs and practices in Article 5, but in light of Kenya’s comments is flexible on inclusion in general obligations. It supports Sudan in inclusion of the qualifier “harmful,” to add clarity.

The Facilitator suggested the following text to address the delegates’ views: “To take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws or regulations and discourage harmful customs or practices that are inconsistent with this convention.”

The Netherlands (EU) appreciated the proposal but would need to study it. It is “quite hesitant” to add “harmful,” because it does not know what would be the non-harmful customs or practices inconsistent with this convention. It would appreciate examples.

Norway appreciated the proposal, but shares the EU’s concerns regarding use of “harmful.” It may not always be possible to “abolish” customs and practices, but it would prefer something stronger than “discourage” and favours “combat.”

Sudan will not insist on adding any words, but following the logic of the EU it would appreciate examples of customs or practices “inconsistent with the convention,” and to add clarity prefers to include “harmful” or “negative.”

Japan supported the proposal but suggested language such as “modify or abolish” based on CEDAW Article 2(f). It also does not support qualifiers such as “harmful,” as this could be problematic if a custom is inconsistent to some and not harmful to others.

The Facilitator suggested “To take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws or regulations and combat negative customs or practices that are inconsistent with this convention.” A footnote after “negative” would indicate concerns regarding use of qualifiers.

Jamaica noted the distinction between customary laws and customs per se. Under general obligations it could say “abolishing customary laws that are inconsistent,” with Article 5 addressing more general, attitudinal customs.

Syria supported Sudan and noted varying interpretations of “inconsistent.” Adding a qualifier such as “harmful” or the weaker “negative” could be of help, and supports the Facilitator’s footnote on this issue.

Kenya supported use of “combat” and highlighted CEDAW Article 2(f) and CRC Article 24(3) which offer alternatives for those uncomfortable with “combat.” It suggested reference to “traditional customs and practices” to address Jamaica’s concerns.

The Secretariat announced the lunchtime briefing with the Disability Caucus.



The Secretariat announced availability of 2 materials: 1) “Non-paper” compilation of all proposals in English only; and 2) CDs of draft texts for those with visual impairments.


The Coordinator thanked Mr. Ainchil and the facilitation group for its discussions on Article 4 this morning which made good progress. Mr Ainchil has put together text for circulation based on these discussions, and it is hoped the group will be able to meet further on Thursday to complete its work. The flexibility shown by delegates in achieving momentum at the end of the morning’s discussions is appreciated, and it is hoped that momentum can be maintained here and in future discussions. A point was raised this morning about the linkage between Article 4 and 1, and we should be mindful of linkages between articles. Delegates should not be concerned about such linkages, or prejudicing their positions by accepting more general language in those articles at this time. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

At this stage the group will move to Article 5, and as this article is more focused the discussion should be able to be more focused than that for Article 4. This article will be facilitated by Ambassador Rowe of Sierra Leone. Discussion will proceed on a paragraph by paragraph basis to speed progress, though proposals related to finer points of drafting will not be examined now. Article 5(2)(d) addressing “working in partnership with PWD” has already been taken care of in Article 4. A fundamental question is how much detail should be added to the WG draft text? The more detail is added the closer the text becomes to a “programme of action” rather then a treaty elaborating rights. More detail will not necessarily make the treaty better or stronger, or provide greater clarity which is something we should be seeking. Delegates may wish to consider whether “more is less.”

Several proposals have been submitted for consideration in Article 5(1): [1] adding “their needs, potential and contribution to society” at the end of 5(1)(a), followed by “and foster respect for their rights”; [2] in 5(1)(b) expanding the obligation to combat stereotypes and prejudices, to encompass “cultural or religious practices that discriminate against PWD,” or “in all areas of life”; [3] in 5(1)(c) adding “irrespective of type, severity and complexity of their disability”; [4] a proposal from at least 1 delegation for a new 5(1)(c) bis which would expand the promotion of positive attitudes to promote those attitudes amongst PWD themselves as to themselves; and [5] 5(1)(c) ter on training and education.

Japan strongly supported the WG text as is, and is flexible on the proposals highlighted.

Canada supported the EU amendments provided in the Compilation text. The Trinidad and Tobago and Kenyan submissions for 5(1)(b) regarding cultural practices are unnecessary in light of amendments to Article 4 made this morning. In 5(1)(c) Canada would prefer “portray PWD” not “promote an image of.”

Costa Rica supported the proposals noted by the Coordinator. It also proposes to include a provision in 5(1) on the obligation of States Parties “to promote knowledge by the general public of the provisions contained in this Convention, to promote positive attitudes, in particular between PWD, their families and care-givers.” It is flexible regarding placement and wording of this proposal but would like to see the concept included.

Lebanon supported the Kenyan proposal to take into consideration cultural practices inconsistent with convention. It wonders whether “and dignity” could be added after “foster the rights” in 5(1)(a).

Norway agreed “less is more” in this context and it favors the WG text. It agrees with the issue raised by Uganda in 5(1)(a) that PWD have not only needs but contributions to make, but feels this is adequately addressed in 5(1)(c). 5(1)(b) should be kept more general and not go into further detail of types of practices. It supports Canada’s change of “promote” to “portray” in 5(1)(c). It does not support the Thai proposal to delineate PWD by type, severity or complexity of disability as “PWD” is sufficient.

Cameroon supported the proposals noted by the Coordinator. However, the African Group introduced a series of wording amendments for Article 5 which it reserves the right to discuss during future consultations.

The Netherlands (EU) agreed that the AHC ”shouldn’t overburden this article with too much detail,” and it could benefit from less detail. Paragraphs 5(1) and 5(2)(c) are sufficient, with the other sub paragraphs being superfluous as they are addressed in previous articles. As 5(2) is not needed, 5(2)(c) would become 5(1)(d). It welcomes support for its proposal to “foster respect for the rights of PWD” in 5(1)(a), but does not think “dignity” is an appropriate addition here. The EU does not support references to “needs” of PWD and is hesitant to include any proposals that “could be seen as being of a condescending nature.” It supports the WG text for 5(1)(b) support WG and does not feel “negative” is appropriate to include as stereotypes themselves should be combated. It could accept the NZ proposal “in all areas of life.” In 5(1)(c) Canada’s “portray” is a good formulation, and it does not see the need to include the Thai proposal.

Thailand supported “in all areas of life” in 5(1)(b), as well as “portray” in 5(1)(c). It clarified its proposal for 5(1)(c) was not intended to break PWD down into sub-groups, but to ensure that different PWD are not overlooked, as this often happens in reality. It urges delegations to consider this positive alternative to its WG proposal to take into account the specific needs of PWD with specific types of disabilities.

Bahrain supported the proposals noted by the Coordinator. A new sub paragraph should also be added in 5(1) addressing training and the need to combat “negative stereotypes.” Training for all people providing services, such as judges and teachers will help people to understand the needs of PWD.

Israel agreed with the approach that less is more and articles should be as “compact” as possible. However, some additional issues are in need of special mention “as they do not go without saying.” It supports Uganda’s proposal in 5(1)(a) including contributions of PWD as this is needed to help change the way society views PWD. It agrees with the EU proposal in 5(1)(a) but in the interests of being concise does not accept inclusion of “dignity” as proposed by Lebanon. In 5(1)(b) it proposes to add at the end “including the perpetuation of stigmatization of PWD in advertising.” It supports Canada & New Zealands proposal for “portray” in 5(1)(c).

The Coordinator noted that Israel and several other delegations have supported Uganda’s proposal in 5(1)(a) to reference the potential and contributions to society of PWD, and asked if the existing reference to the concept of “contribution” in 5(1)(c) would be sufficient? Israel acknowledged the duplication and felt (c) sufficient.

Australia agreed that this and other articles should be kept simple. In this regard it cannot accept the Thai proposal in 5(1)(c) addressing different types of disabilities, as this would be an “over-elaboration.” It takes note of the EU’s objection to “needs” in 5(1)(a), but could accept Uganda’s proposal focusing on contributions. It urges caution regarding the concept of “promoting an image” in 5(1)(c) if we are at the same time to avoid stereotypes. The focus should be on fact and the real contributions of PWD. The Coordinator asked if Australia would oppose “portray” in 5(1)(c). Australia responded that its concern is with the concept of “image,” as States should not promote image but reality. It prefers “promote the capability and contributions of people.”

Serbia and Montenegro also agreed “less is more,” and is satisfied with the WG text for Article 5(1) with minor changes. In 5(1)(a) it supports “fostering respect for the rights of PWD,” and in (b) inclusion of “in all areas of life.” In 5(1)(c) it prefers “portray,” as well as widening the scope to include “and responsibilities” proposed by the Philippines. The Coordinator requested its view on the Australian concern that “image” in 5(1)(c) suggests promoting something that may not be the case. Serbia and Montenegro agrees that PWD should “not be given some imaginary portrait” but instead presented as they are. It finds merit in the Australian proposal but would like time to consider.

India [Inaudible response to 5(1) on tape] It supports the title proposed by the EU and amended by Canada to read “Promotion of positive attitudes towards PWD.”

Yemen supported Bahrain’s proposed inclusion of a new sub paragraph on training. It proposes including in such training those in charge of communication and mass media.

[Arabic speaker unidentified on tape] This delegation supports the avoidance of repetition and keeping the paragraph as brief and focused as possible. It supports Bahrain’s proposal on training. Regarding 5(1)(c), both “portray” and “image” are weak and it supports the Arab Group proposal using “commit.”

New Zealand explained it had proposed “portray” in 5(1)(c) because it did not want the promotion of an image to be, as Australia noted, promoting something that might not be real. However the Australian wording achieves this more directly. It does not support the wording of the Thai proposal for 5(1)(c), but supports the concept that proposal advances, namely that all people, whatever their type of disability, be seen as contributors to society. If the “portray an image of …” language is retained the proposal could read instead “portray persons with all types of disabilities as capable and contributing members … “ However, it would prefer to consider how to address this concept in light of the new language from Australia.

Thailand could agree with “portray” in 5(1)(c), but also suggests “recognize” instead.

The Coordinator noted the intention is 5(1)(c) is to promote something that is real rather just an image, and to make the general public aware of what PWD can do and actually contribute. He asked if the concept of “awareness,” which is used in 5(1)(a) and which implies reaction to something in reality, could be of assistance here. Possible wording could be “promote awareness of PWD as capable and contributing members of society … “

Uruguay supported use of “promote” in 5(1)(c). To “portray” is a form of promotion.

Canada responded to the Coordinator’s suggestion of “awareness” in 5(1)(c). It feels there is a distinction between raising awareness, which is adequately covered in 1(a), and promoting the positive reality that is inherent in PWD. It suggested “portray” to capture the image of reflection of reality and the obligation of States to take positive steps to reflect that reality. However, it can also live with the Australian proposal, which capture in essence the same idea Canada’s language was intended to reflect. It is flexible but agrees there must be a move away from the notion of “image.”

Chile supported the title proposed by Mexico, as it is more encompassing to refer to “culture,” which would include both positive aspects and awareness raising. It supports the Australian proposal for 5(1)(c), and Canada’s comments. “Promote” in Spanish is the right word, as “portray” or “describe” do not correspond to the spirit of this article.

Costa Rica supported Australia’s proposal for the reasons put forward by Chile relating to Spanish translation, as well as the intention to put across reality and not an image.

China supported Canada’s proposal for “towards” in the title. The EU proposal in (1)(a) to foster respect for the rights of PWD “is a good concept.” In (1)(c) it would like to see both “portray” and “promote,” as “portray” on its own may have a negative connotation. Sub paragraphs (b) and (c) should be interchanged, so that the article would move from awareness-raising to positive efforts of countries and then into combating prejudices.

The Coordinator noted that several delegations have expressed support for the Australian proposal in (1)(c), and asked the delegation to read out its proposed language, which Australia read as “to promote the capabilities and contributions of all PWD as members of society sharing the same rights and freedoms as all others and in a manner consistent with the overall purpose of this Convention.“ The Coordinator highlighted the concerns of several Spanish-speaking delegations that “portray” does not work in Spanish, which is a problem.

Bangladesh supported the Australian proposal for 5(1)(c) and suggested inclusion of “and project” after “promote,” which would be stronger though Bangladesh is flexible. It supports the Canadian proposed title, and the Bahrain proposal to include training which is an essential activity in promoting positive attitudes.

The Coordinator thanked delegates for comments on the title which have been noted, though a decision on whether there should be titles would be taken later. For now titles would be maintained to give a general sense of the content of draft articles, but the titles do not need to be discussed at this stage.

Serbia and Montenegro supported the Australian proposal having now heard it, perhaps with inclusion of “and responsibilities,” though it would not insist on this.

Mexico agreed with the need to avoid too much detail in the article. It supports the Australian proposal for 5(1)(c) which “solves quite a few problems.” In 5(1)(a) it supports the EU amendment on respecting rights, but is reticent to include the “various forms” of disabilities proposed by the Philippines, which may be too detailed. In 5(1)(b) stereotypes should be included without reference to “negative” as all stereotypes should be removed. Cultural practices need not be addressed here as it has been dealt with in Article 4. The Israel proposal on stigmatization in advertising is perhaps already addressed in 5(2)(c) which concerns the media.

The Coordinator briefly reviewed each proposal, to obtain a sense of the room. There had been no substantive objections to the Australian proposal for 5(1)(c), and so that proposal would go to the Facilitator’s group. Thailand had expressed a concern of format rather than substance, and was encouraged to consult directly with Australia on the matter. The EU proposal to add the concept of fostering respect for rights in 5(1)(a) was also given to the Facilitator, having met no opposition. The proposal of Uganda and Israel to include “and their potential and contribution to society” in 5(1)(a) would not be submitted as delegations felt the concept was sufficiently captured in 5(1)(c). The proposal of New Zealand to add “in all areas of life” in 5(1)(c) received support and no opposition and would be referred to the Facilitator’s group. The Thai proposal in 5(1)(c) addressing types, severity and complexity of disabilities was opposed by several delegations and Thailand is encouraged to consult with those delegations on how to address their concerns. It would not be submitted to the Facilitator’s group. Bahrain’s proposal to insert a provision on training in 5(1) received support from a number of delegations. The Netherlands (EU) questioned however whether this would be an appropriate placement of a provision on training, and felt it may also be too proscriptive a proposal. The Coordinator asked Bahrain to elaborate and clarify its proposal.

Bahrain explained that the proposal stresses training targeting people that are in contact with, and work with, PWD in various situations. It feels such training is needed to improve and extend contacts among PWD. It would submit text in due course.

New Zealand appreciated the suggestion of Bahrain but felt this was not the right article. It believes similar concepts have been included in later articles addressing issues of service delivery where personnel working with PWD will require training. It would have to verify in which articles the concept is addressed.

The Coordinator asked delegates if they agreed that it would be useful to include a provision somewhere in the convention to ensure persons in contact with PWD are properly trained.

Serbia and Montenegro associated itself with the comments of the EU and New Zealand, and thanked Bahrain for its proposal but felt it would be better place in Article 17 (Education) where many delegations have suggested addressing training.

The Coordinator noted that Article 17 addresses training of PWD rather than training of people working with PWD.

Lebanon supported Bahrain’s proposal, but proposed its placement instead in 5(2).

New Zealand and Canada highlighted provisions in the WG draft addressing training, such as Article 17(2)(b), and in particular FN 59 which addresses raising awareness of teachers, and Article 21(g) and (h) in particular, on raising awareness of healthcare professionals. Norway noted these issues were also discussed in relation to Article 21(b).

Mexico felt the proposal of Bahrain was very important but should not be addressed in a specific article as Article 5, but rather in its own article, or a more general article.

Yemen noted Bahrain’s proposal is on training broadly, not just in one area as in 21(h).

Israel supported Bahrain’s proposal, as well as its placement in Article 5 as it relates to awareness raising. The language of Article 21(h) could be used as a basis for a broader article on training in Article 5, which would then remove the necessity of similar provisions in specific articles, such as 21(h).

Australia noted the number of provisions referencing training for family, teachers, healthcare professionals and others. While there may need to be a special mention of the issue in some clauses, there should also be a more general provision on training. Australia is flexible as to placement of such a broader provision.

Jordan associated itself with the comments of Mexico, Yemen and Israel, and agreed with placement of a proposal on training in Article 5(2) as a sub paragraph after (d).

The Coordinator summarized that there seemed to be strong support for the proposal of Bahrain. Other provisions relating to training have been identified, such as Article 21(h), but these are more limited in scope than the Bahrain proposal. Lebanon has suggested this should appear in 5(2) addressing measures. The Facilitator is requested to draft some language of general application on this issue in 5(2). This will be without prejudice to the ultimate placement of this language, but responds to requests for a more general provision on training. The reservations of some delegations with regard to placement have been noted.

Returning to other proposals, Costa Rica proposed inclusion of a provision on promoting awareness of the convention; a concept not yet included in the WG draft.

The Netherlands (EU) felt promoting awareness of the convention a good idea, but it belongs in Article 25 on implementation, where the EU made at this AHC session a similar proposal in based on CRC Article 42. The language for a new 25(4) is “States Parties undertake to make the principles and provision of the Convention widely known by appropriate and active means.”

The Coordinator noted the language appeared to address the concept of the Costa Rican proposal, and asked that delegation to respond to the issue of placement. Costa Rica stated it wanted people to know the extent and scope of the convention and are flexible regarding placement of this concept. The Coordinator suggested the issue be taken up again during discussions of the implementation articles.

With no further proposals to consider for Article 5(1), discussion moved to 5(2) and the Coordinator highlighted proposals for delegates to respond to. One proposal for 5(2)(b) replaced “promoting awareness” with “develop and maintain programmes on awareness.” Another proposal was for a new paragraph creating an obligation to promulgate the convention. Most human rights treaties contain such a provision and the question would be one of placement and whether it should appear in the implementation provisions.

The Netherlands (EU) was of the view that Article 5(2) provides an unnecessary level of detail, and 5(2)(a) and (b) are already addressed by 5(1)(a). Article 5(2)(c) should be moved to 5(1) and the remainder of 5(2) deleted.

The Coordinator noted the existing agreement to delete 5(2)(d) in light of coverage of the concept working in partnership with PWD in the general obligations of Article 4.

Australia agreed with the EU proposal to delete 5(2), as (a) and (b) are adequately covered in 5(1)(a). Article 5(2)(c) addresses the media and there is an argument to be made that this should be retained as when the media portrays an image of PWD it should be positive and accurate.

Costa Rica supported the EU proposal, though noted that the concept of “all children from an early age and at all levels of the education system” is not captured in 5(1) and so should be moved there if 5(2) is deleted, “otherwise the text may be a bit thin.”

Norway supported the proposal to delete 5(2) and requested elaboration of the EU’s rationale for retaining 5(2)(c), which it is note yet convinced should be retained.

Mexico was concerned about the total removal of the provisions of 5(2) as they identify specific measures to meet the objectives in 5(1), such as awareness raising campaigns and promoting awareness in education systems. If 5(2) is deleted it favors retention of 5(2)(b) and “public awareness campaigns” from (c), which could be moved to 5(1).

Serbia and Montenegro supported the EU proposal in principle, as well as the concerns raised by Costa Rica and Mexico with respect to 5(2)(b). Fostering disability awareness in children from an early age is an important concept to retain, and Serbia and Montenegro could be flexible as to placement.

Cameroon associated itself with the comments of Costa Rica and Mexico.

Jamaica felt the EU proposal had quite a lot of merit, but there are some ideas proposed for deletion could be incorporated in (1). Jamaica proposes moving to 5(1) those ideas in 5(2) not yet addressed in 5(1).

Venezuela addressed 5(2)(c) on the role of the media. The media, and television in particular, plays an important role in promoting positive attitudes to PWD, and so it is important that this concept be addressed somewhere. The media should be encouraged to help and where the media is in the private sector some incentives may need to be found to accomplish this.

Japan supported the EU proposal to streamline the text, and the Costa Rican proposal to maintain 5(2)(b) as it relates to awareness raising in children, perhaps in 5(1).

Syria [intervention not recorded on tape]

Canada [incomplete intervention recorded] “… 5(1). To be less prescriptive however we would like to see words like “such as” or “including” public awareness campaigns, or other such ideas.”

Israel sought to balance the EU proposal to streamline the article with the need not to lose certain provisions in 5(2). 5(2)(a) should be deleted; (b) placed in 5(1) because of the “tremendous importance” of awareness raising from an early age; Israel agrees with the importance of (c) relating to the media; and (d) can now be deleted. That would then leave the Bahrain proposal related to training.

Yemen associate itself with the views of Mexico and Costa Rica regarding retention of content of 5(2)(a) and (b). Awareness raising amongst schoolchildren is an important part of any later awareness raising campaign, because children are the future of any country. This provision is extremely important “and certainly it must be kept in.”

Republic of Korea supported the EU proposal to streamline the text, but also believes some of the ideas need to be moved to 5(1) especially, as Yemen explained, 5(2)(b).

The Coordinator summarized proposals to guide the Facilitator’s group. There was wide level of support for the EU proposal to streamline Article 5, particularly with regard to removing duplication of items in (2) already covered in (1). The EU proposed retention of 5(2)(c) which was questioned by one delegation but no one opposed it. 5(2)(c) was otherwise strongly supported by others. It is also clear that many wish to ensure that some of the elements contained in 5(2) which are not already found 5(1) should be moved to (1), in particular the concepts of public awareness campaign from 2(a); and promoting awareness including children from an early age and at all levels of the education system from 2(b). Canada proposed use of phrases “such as” or “including,” to denote that these examples are not exclusive but are for illustration only.

Lebanon stressed the importance of the WG text for Article 5, which clearly denotes in 5(1) what must be done, and in 5(2) how it must be done. It questions the validity of an exercise to move elements of 5(2) into (1). The Coordinator responded that although he largely agreed with Lebanon’s description of the current structure of the artice there was a clear view within the room to combine the proposals.

New Zealand felt reference to maintenance of a public awareness campaign in 5(2)(a) is too prescriptive, as there are many ways to raise awareness and this is drafted as an obligation not an option. It would thus prefer the first part of 2(a) to be removed, and as the remained would repeat (1)(a) it could also be deleted. It agreed with Costa Rica on the need to emphasize early education and importance of the media. These concepts could be maintainted in 5(2) or moved to 5(1).

The Netherlands (EU) fully agreed with the Coordinator’s summary, though questioned how the issue of overall placement of Article 5 would be addressed. The Coordinator responded that proposals on placement have focused on reordering, with the proposed order of articles being 4, 7, and then 5. Structure would of course have to be examined overall at the end of negotiations.

Thailand supported the statement of Lebanon “which made logical sense.” It is flexible as to the wording of each sub paragraph.

Syria supported the Lebanese intervention, and trusted the Coordinator and Facilitator could merge proposals from 5(2) appropriately.

Australia supported the comments of New Zealand, and stressed that if it were desirable to maintain 5(2), the use of “shall” with regard to public awareness campaign would not be acceptable.

The Coordinator noted the proposal to retain separation of 5(1) and (2) because they address different concepts, but there is a strong view in support of combining those paragraphs without losing the essential elements of those provisions. Asking the Facilitator to ensure that no substance is lost from (2), should address the substantive concerns voiced. Regarding the use of “shall” and the provision on public awareness campaigns being unduly prescriptive, New Zealand and Australia are asked to draft alternative language that would maintain the overall concept of 5(2)(b).


The Coordinator noted that in earlier discussions the UN statistics division highlighted an existing 1994 international agreement that could be referenced to address the concerns over safeguards. The safeguards in the use and collection of data was a primary concern for many delegations. The 1994 agreement will be distributed in the morning and the issue of safeguards addressed at that time. Many delegations supported moving the article to Article 25 on monitoring, but others expressed opposition on the grounds that the data should be used for more than just monitoring. The Coordinator obtained the agreement of the room to proceed on the basis that Article 6 would be retained in the early part of convention for the present, though it could be moved later. The EU had proposed a shorter version of the article and they were invited to elaborate whether it went further than redrafting the safeguards protections.

The Netherlands (EU) had felt Article 6 too detailed and prescriptive, in particular sections (d) and (e) addressing issues of disaggregation of data and types of information to be collected. The goal of the EU proposal is an article with a clear provision on the obligation to collect data and statistics, with general provisions on safeguards both national and international. It is not necessary to refer to specific instruments here as they are included. The EU proposal could be further shortened as (c) may become superfluous in light of recent discussions addressing the concept of working in partnership with PWD. The Coordinator invited comments on deletion of (d) and (e).

Costa Rica had made proposals related to paragraphs the EU wished to delete, but could accept the EU proposal. However, it wishes to include an obligation to create a general index of the kind mandated in General Assembly res 4788 and A/Res 49/153, which would go beyond simply listing data.

Japan supported the deletion of (d) and (e) which is in line with its preferences for articles that are not overly prescriptive or too detailed.

Norway had questions regarding the EU proposal but would reserve them for the resumption of the session in the morning.

The Netherlands (EU) clarified that the EU proposal, available at:, went beyond simple deletion of Article 6(d) and (e). For example, its chapeau refers to “appropriate information” rather than “statistics” which can be a sensitive term for many.

The Coordinator announced that tomorrow morning the UN statistics division information would be distributed, and then discussions would resume on Article 6. Discussions would then move to Article 7, with time reserved in the afternoon for the Facilitator’s groups to address Articles 5 and 6.

The session was adjourned.

Reporters and editors of the English language issues for the Fourth Session are Zahabia Adamaly, Katherine Guernsey and Janet Lord.
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The Summaries are translated into Spanish by the Inter-American Institute on Disability, and into French by HI.

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