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Ad Hoc Committee Main


Daily summary of discussions related to Article 5


UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Fourth session of the Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
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Volume 5, #3
August 25, 2004



supported Mexico’s proposed new title for this article “Creation of a culture of respect and inclusion” and Uganda’s proposal for 5(1)(a) to add “needs, potential and contribution to society.” The phrase “practices that are incompatible with the objective” should be incorporated into 5(1)(b). It proposes alternative texts, for 5(1)(c): “to promote a culture with respect to disabled persons as an object of law and compatible with the objectives of the convention” removing the reference to “image”; and for 5(2)(a): “Nurture public awareness campaigns and policies to promote attitudes that are receptive and positive towards the rights of PWD.” It supports the Costa Rican proposal to incorporate the phase “in their population” in 2(b), and the addition of the term “families” in 5(2)(d).

Cameroon (on behalf of the Africa Group) recommended the following alternative title for Article 5: “Promotion of Positive Attitudes Towards Persons with Disabilities, Creation and Raising of Awareness.” The term “appropriate” should be substituted for “immediate” in 5(1). 5(1)(a) should be amended to read: “Raise awareness throughout society regarding disability in various forms and persons with disabilities and their needs, potential and contributions to society and foster a culture of respect for PWD and their human rights.” The African Group recommends more detailed wording in 5(1)(b) to read, following “prejudices,” “and practices whether cultural, or other which discriminate against persons with disabilities,” in line with the Kenya proposal. 5(1)(c) should begin with the term “Portray”, include the Thai proposed language “irrespective of type, severity and complexity of their disabilities” and the Philippines proposal to add “and responsibilities” after “rights and freedoms.” 5(2)(a) should begin: “Initiating, promoting and maintaining an effective public social awareness campaign designed to nurture respect and protect the rights of persons with disabilities…” 5(2)(b) should begin: “Developing and maintaining programmes of awareness in their population…” The term “portray PWD in a manner” should substitute for “project an image of PWD” in 5(2)(c). The term “families” should be included in 5(2)(d).

Costa Rica supports the Africa Group’s proposed new title. It does not support the reference to “negative” stereotypes in 5(1)(b). The language in 5(1)(c) should be retained incorporating proposals of New Zealand, Canada and the Philippines and without the amendments proposed by Thailand. 5(2)(a) and (b) should be merged. A new sub-paragraph should be added, addressing the obligation of States to make the public aware of the Convention and its contents, and the intention to eradicate stereotypes of disability and PWD.

New Zealand highlighted the barriers posed by society’s knowledge, attitudes and related behaviors and the need to address these issues in a separate provision. Like Mexico, Costa Rica and the EU, New Zealand calls for a reference in 5(1)(a) to fostering respect for PWD. It supports in principle the Thailand position on 5(1)(b) referring to “irrespective of type of disability”, though will suggest alternative language. So as to encompass areas in which PWD face barriers, the phrase “in all areas of life” should be added to 5(1)(b). As noted by Canada 5(2) is too prescriptive and should be simplified. A public awareness campaign is only one of many actions States could take, therefore this reference in 5(2)(a) should be substituted with the phrase: “nurturing awareness of and respect for the rights of PWD.” Article 5(2)(d) on working in partnership with PWD does not align with the chapeau and should be shifted to Article 4.

Japan strongly supports the WG text, and would oppose any weakening of it such as changing the language in the chapeau in 5(1) from “immediate and effective” to “appropriate,” and inserting “negative” before “stereotypes” in 5(1)(b).

Jamaica supported adding the qualifications “negative” before “stereotypes” and “positive” before “image” in 5(1)(b). The term ”receptiveness to” in 5(2)(a) should be replaced with “respect for the rights of PWD.”

The EU accepted a separate Article but recommended it be moved to 24bis. It maintains 5(2) is unnecessarily detailed, with the exception of 5(2)(c) which could be moved to 5(1).

Mexico affirmed its support for the language in 5(1) and opposition to any weakening of the text, which is in line with other conventions such as CEDAW. Measures must be immediate and effective. The various forms of disability do not need to be mentioned. Practices that may be prejudicial to PWD do not need to be specified as this would result in leaving some out; the Chilean proposal to reference adverse practices may be a good solution. The type or gravity of disability does not need to be mentioned in 5(1)(c). Language in 5(2) should not be prescriptive and the detail in 5(2)(d) may be unnecessary. However it is necessary to provide some references, such as to public awareness campaigns and stereotypes.

Canada supported New Zealand’s proposed amendments to 5(2).

Unidentified speaker [Portion of tape missing] recommended amending the title to read “Inculcation and Promotion of Positive Attitudes Towards PWD.” The term “modify” should replace “combat” in 1(b), and “inculcate” should be added before “nurture” in 5(2)(a). It supports Uganda’s proposal in 5(2)(d) to insert the word “families.”

Thailand opposed adding “negative” before “stereotypes” in 5(1)(b). It affirmed its position in 5(1)(c) to reference “type, severity and complexity” of disability, as this language is sensitive to the need to cover all disabilities without creating any hierarchy.

Ethiopia proposed referencing artistic works and publications that may offend the dignity of PWD given that writers, authors and composers present PWD in a negative way.

India supported the Australian proposal to amend the chapeau to “appropriate and effective measures.” The term “create awareness” is preferred in 5(1)(a) over “raise awareness.” The term “promote” should replace “foster” in 5(1)(b), and the proposal of Trinidad and Tobago to combat “negative” stereotypes should be retained. Public awareness campaigns in 5(2)(a) should be “comprehensive” rather than “effective” and be designed to “foster” rather than “nurture”; 5(2)(b) repeats this point and should be deleted. India support Uganda’s proposal to add “families” to 5(2)(d).

China highlighted the absence of goals of achieving self-reliance and self-respect, and recommended that assisting PWD in achieving these goals should be added to 5(1)(a). In addition 5(2)(c)bis should read: “Encouraging and assisting PWD to have self-esteem.”

The Republic of Korea cautioned against paternalistic language like “help” or “assist”, and like Japan and Thailand opposed the term “negative” to qualify “stereotypes” in 5(1)(b). Article 5 should be placed later in the convention.

Bahrain recommended adding a stand-alone paragraph that emphasizes the need for training and awareness-raising in order to resist negative stereotypes. Training should be continuous and oriented towards a variety of stakeholders such as medical staff, journalists, teachers, and activists working in the field of disability.

Lebanon agreed with the Bahrain proposal on training and affirmed its support for the WG text which it found clear and sufficient.

Yemen agreed with the Bahrain proposal on training. It also highlighted the need to take moral considerations into account in the collection of data and statistics.

The Chair indicated that he understood the intervention regarding data and statistics made by Yemen was in relation to Article 6.

Yemen stated that its intervention was in relation to Article 5.

Norway called for better placement of Article 5, and in line with the EU proposal agreed that 5(2) is both repetitive and too prescriptive and should be streamlined. The concept of fostering respect for the rights of PWD should be incorporated into 5(1)(a).

Cameroon (on behalf of the African Group) proposed a new sub-paragraph in 5(1): ”Combat patronizing, bullying, and neglect on the basis of perceived incapacity of children and adults in public service and society as a whole.”

EDF (on behalf of the International Disability Caucus) highlighted the danger inherent in drafting this article and the need to avoid patronizing language. In this regard it supports the proposals of EU and others to reference the fostering of respect for PWD. It supports retaining the language in 1(b) and avoiding the use of the term “negative” stereotypes because positive stereotypes must also be avoided (i.e. blind people have perfect memory, deaf people have high levels of concentration, people with Downs syndrome are nice). In 5(1)(c) it opposes the proposed wording by Thailand for 5(1)(c), but sees merit in that of the Philippines’. It rejects the proposal to reference “families” in 5(2)(d), while noting that families are a target group for awareness raising campaigns.

DPI emphasized the importance of awareness-raising as a pre-condition for the equalization of opportunities for PWD, appearing at the beginning of the UN Standard Rules, and of working in partnership with PWD in awareness raising as stated in 5(2)(d). The concepts of partnership and participation do merit mention in this Article though they appear elsewhere in the convention text. If there are to be any principles that can and should appear in specific contexts throughout the convention, it is these.


Volume 5, #7
August 31, 2004



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).


Volume 5, #8
September 01, 2004



outlined the 3 messages emerging from this article: 1. raising awareness in all aspects of society about disability and PWD, their rights, potential and contributions to society; 2. to promote the capabilities and contributions of PWD and reinforce their positions as equal members of society; 3. to combat negative stereotypes or negative practices and prejudices. It is possible within these 3 elements to construct an article that would pick up all the desired elements in current Article 5.

The EU enquired whether the Facilitator was opening the floor to comments on all of 5(1) or wanted to limit comments to 5(1)(a). The Facilitator indicated that the discussion could begin with the chapeau and proceed from there. For the consideration of the group he suggested the following language for the chapeau: “States parties undertake to adopt appropriate and effective measures to”

Cameroon (on behalf of the African Group) supported the Facilitator’s suggestion emphasizing that the African Group would like to maintain “appropriate” rather than “immediate.” The flexibility of this term gives developing countries the leeway to implement measures that require funding and resources based on prevailing conditions and on their ability to do so.
The EU favored the original WG language calling for “immediate” measures. The concept and meaning of “appropriate” is already covered under the term “effective”.

China sought clarification as to the status of 5(2), whether it would be merged with 5(1). If the Article confines itself to 5(1) only then China is comfortable with the original language. If the paragraphs are to be merged, then China would support the facilitator’s suggestion for the chapeau, and seeks the views of other delegations.

In response to 2 further comments on the question of merging 5(1) and (2), from Indonesia and Cameroon, the Facilitator asked that the group first clarify the content of 5(1), ie the “What” rather than the “How.” At this stage of the discussion, he asked that the group focus on the chapeau, specifically for the Committee’s input on retaining the term “immediate” and/or whether both “immediate” and “appropriate” could be included.

Mexico acknowledged that measures cannot always be “immediate” as states need resources, but noted that language here ought to be consistent with other conventions. It is important that PWD are ensured the same level of commitment from States. It preferred retaining the term “immediate” and asked for further explanation from delegations calling for its replacement.

Kenya lent its support to the African Group, emphasising that the word “appropriate” is preferred because this implies “correct measures in the circumstances.” Such circumstances would account for “resource and time factors.” “Appropriate“ includes, but is wider than, “immediate” and “does not lock out programs and activities that may not be that immediate for delegations worried about the implications” of this term.

Mexico stressed that while “appropriate” does encompass the notion of “effective,” the term “immediate” should be included reflecting the standard set in other instruments.

Cameroon noted that many international agreements in force invite states parties to take progressive measures. A measure cannot be appropriate if it is not taken in a timely fashion.

The Facilitator suggested a compromise proposal to include both “immediate” and “appropriate,” or to use “as soon as possible” instead of “immediate.”

The EU supported the Facilitator’s first suggestion but not the second because “as soon as possible” was a vague obligation. It should also be taken into account that the chapeau obligates states “to undertake to adopt” rather than “to adopt” the immediate measures.

Australia, Cameroon (on behalf of the African Group), Mexico and Serbia-Montenegro also supported the compromise proposal for the chapeau as suggested by the Facilitator, which he read out as follows: “States Parties undertake to adopt immediate, appropriate and effective measures to:” noting that “effective” applies to the previous two terms. The EU specifically and the Committee generally agreed to this language, which was adopted.

The Facilitator introduced formulations for 5(1)(a) incorporating proposals made so far, but leaving out the notion of “needs,” which had not garnered much support: “Actively raise awareness throughout society regarding PWD and cultivate / promote a culture of respect for their rights, dignity, potential and contributions to society.” He opened the floor for comment.
Philippines reiterated its proposal to insert language highlighting the different forms of disabilities. This is an integral part of raising awareness about disability. While the public may be aware of disability generally they are not aware of its various forms, especially those that are not visible, such as psycho-social disabilities.

Australia questioned the use of “actively” at the beginning of the Facilitator’s proposed language, given that this was substantively already included in the chapeau in the context of “effective and immediate.” It also preferred “foster” over “promote.” Australia otherwise supported the Facilitator’s proposed formulation.

EU supported the comments of Australia and Philippines. The Facilitator’s language should refer to both “disability and PWD.” The meaning of “culture of respect” is unclear, so the EU reiterates its position from yesterday, supported by a number of delegations, to refer instead to fostering the rights of PWD. The concepts of “potential and contribution” are already incorporated in 5(1)(c), and the reference to dignity should be deleted in this context.

Canada supported the EU’s comments. It is not advisable to use “actively” as this group should be cautious about introducing new concepts and terminology. The focus should be on using language that is already on the table. The reference to a “culture of respect” could be interpreted as diluting this obligation towards PWD and should be replaced with “fostering respect” for PWD. For the sake of brevity, the adjectives “potential.. etc” are more appropriate in (c).

Cameroon (on behalf of the African Group) suggested removing the word “actively” at the beginning and retaining the reference to “various forms” of disability. In addition the reference to “needs” should be incorporated.

Norway suggested removing the word “actively” and retaining the EU’s preferred references to both “disability and PWD.” The Philippines proposal to include “various forms” creates the possibly complicating precedent that this descriptor will need to be incorporated wherever disability is mentioned in the Convention text. Alternative overarching language could note that references to “disability” anywhere in the Convention text refers to “various forms of disabilities.” Language on “potential … etc” is already covered in 1(c) and is redundant here. Adding “dignity” in the context of this sentence is unclear. Reference to a “culture of respect” is unclear and should be removed unless an explanation is presented otherwise.

Serbia-Montenegro supported comments of the EU, Norway, Australia and Canada.

Mexico supported the WG proposed text for this Article and called for retaining references to both “disability and PWD.” The Philippines proposal takes away from the essential aspect of the disability. References to its “various forms” reflects a medical model perspective. The Ugandan proposal is redundant and already covered in 1(c). References to a “culture of respect” should be retained as it implies an educational imperative at a societal level and that will apply across generations. Dignity is an important concept but not necessary for this paragraph.

Costa Rica agreed that adding “actively” might complicate the text and is redundant. It is sufficient to refer to respecting the rights of PWD instead of “a culture of respect.” The Ugandan language on the “potential and contribution” of PWD is already dealt with in (c). Costa Rica withdraws its own proposed additions to (a).

Cuba proposed replacing “culture of respect” with the more direct language obligating states “to respect the rights and dignity of PWD.” The Ugandan proposal should be addressed in (c), and rather than referring to the “image” of PWD, should provide examples of PWD potential and contribution. While Cuba understands the Mexican objections of undue attention to a medical perspective, it supports the Philippines additional text.

Bahrain finds the WG text “clear cut and comprehensive” and the Facilitator’s additional language on the rights and dignity of PWD unnecessary.

New Zealand highlighted the considerable progress that was made at yesterday’s meeting, and noted that many of those suggestions have been made again today. It recalled the Coordinator’s summing up of yesterday’s discussion on 5(1)(a) – there was widespread agreement the text to be considered for this informal session should be as close as possible to the WG original text with the following addition at the end of the sentence: “and to foster respect for their rights.” New Zealand called on the group to pick up the discussion from where it left off, which is to fine-tune and if possible seek consensus on the text that was largely agreed upon yesterday.

The Facilitator was of the view that the WG text was not a single composite text, but had brackets, which should now be resolved. He suggested removing “Actively” from the beginning given the consensus on this point, and suggested that reference to both “disability and PWD” might address the Philippines concerns that the “various forms” of disability be also considered.

Philippines reiterated its proposal noting that highlighting the various forms of disability is a critical part of the raising awareness issue. Text that simply refers to raising awareness of disability is not as meaningful.

The Facilitator noted that some delegations do not subscribe to this proposed language, and to language that emphasizes differences between disabilities. He highlighted that raising awareness of the idea of “disability” itself would by definition include and connote its various forms.

EU pointed out that the text of the Disability Caucus itself does not refer to the “various forms” of disability. For this reason and that provided by Mexico this new language should not be incorporated.

Thailand noted with great understanding the Philippines concerns given the reality that people with certain types of disability, especially when they are not visible, are overlooked. Nevertheless it subscribes to the principle of the social model of disability and agrees to the WG text with the addition as outlined by NZ.

Canada highlighted the need to consider the text that emerged from the discussions yesterday, where a consensus was emerging in the direction of excluding the Philippines additional language, which does not appear anywhere else in the Convention. While it was sympathetic to Thailand’s explanation Canada too opposes the inclusion of this language.

Korea opposed the Philippines text on the grounds that it could in fact be limiting because it restricted the specification of disability to typology only. There are other ways in which disability could be identified and described. It should be noted that raising awareness is not only about “rights,” and in order to ensure the applicability of this obligation well into the future and in the interests of keeping the article streamlined, the additional references here should be left out.

The Facilitator called on the Philippines to reconsider its proposed addition. If the Philippines could not withdraw its language, it could be indicated in a footnote. The Facilitator noted that resorting to footnotes at this point would not be advisable, in particular for this Article, which did not, in its original form, come with footnotes.

Trinidad and Tobago noted that raising awareness takes place on two levels, disability and PWD, and specifying both should address the Philippines’ concerns.

New Zealand again recalled the agreement that was reached yesterday, when the Coordinator asked delegations for the text that should be considered today at smaller informals. It was agreed that the text for today’s discussion should be in keeping with the original WG text with an additional phrase at the end. New Zealand highlighted the advice of the Chair and the Coordinator calling on delegations to exercise flexibility and make compromises. If delegations go back to their own original proposals at this stage of the process, after Article 5 has been discussed in the First Reading, a Plenary last week, and an informal yesterday, very little progress will be made.

The Facilitator again appealed to the Philippines to reconsider its proposal keeping in mind that these concerns could be addressed elsewhere in the Convention text and the need to avoid adding a footnote in an Article that previously did not have any footnotes.

Mexico suggested that in order to move forward and given the lack of time the word “disability” could be footnoted incorporating the Philippines proposed text.

The Facilitator concluded the informals with the text that has been agreed upon so far – the chapeau and 1(a) with a footnote after “disability” incorporating the Philippines proposal.

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© United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
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