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Daily summary of discussions related to Article 24bis


UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
Fourth session of the Ad Hoc Committee - Daily Summary
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Volume 5, #5
August 27, 2004



reminded delegates that international cooperation need not necessarily be north-south, but can also be south-south and south-north. It addressed the draft article submitted by Mexico at AHC3 (available at: ), and presented an amended text agreed upon by the African Group, available at:

Chile expressed appreciation for the Mexican proposal, as it puts in a specific article aspects of the preamble, as well as principles proposed to be included in convention. The proposal gives details as a way to orient states in implementing international cooperation. This is particularly important for developing countries. In general terms Chile supports the Mexican draft, but would like the beginning of 24(3)(c) to read “Supporting capacity building within civil society, particularly for PWD, to engage more effectively and constructively with States Parties … ” Chile would also appreciate an explanation for the rationale of the Israeli proposal for this article (available at:, which calls for international and regional cards for PWD.

Costa Rica thanked Mexico, China and Vietnam for their proposals, and Morocco for its comments on the nature of international cooperation. South-north international cooperation is a reality and should be utilized. Costa Rica supports the Mexican proposal with some minor amendments. In the second sentence of the chapeau, Costa Rica proposes insertion of “among States” after “experience and international cooperation,” as international cooperation occurs first and foremost among States. Although other paragraphs in the Mexican proposal are important, they may be too detailed when the chapeau along may suffice. The Chinese proposal to mainstream disability in programmes on cooperation available at: should be added to the Mexican chapeau. This will provide a way to implement commitments that are entered into by states within context of this convention. Costa Rica would like more information on the rationale for the Israeli proposal in (f) regarding cards for PWD.

Japan supported the Mexican proposal, which is very comprehensive. Japan is supportive of the Mexican proposal in principle, and the elements of that proposal, though it does seem disproportionately long and should be streamlined. Regarding the Israeli proposal for 24 bis 2(e) and the establishment of research and development funds, Japan believes that existing mechanisms should be more fully utilized before establishing any new ones.

China noted that international cooperation is very important, and should be included as a core element of this treaty as indeed it should be included in every international convention. International cooperation should be addressed in a separate article, as well as in the article on general principles. Given the current numbering, it could be in a new article 26. China appreciates support for its proposal, available at: , though notes Vietnam and Mexico have made similar proposals. As the Chinese proposal includes only the most important elements, the best approach may be to merge it with other proposals.

The Netherlands (EU) reiterated its position that implementation of the convention will be the responsibility of States Parties, and such implementation must not be conditional on receipt of international aid or assistance. The EU is open to considering a provision regarding international sharing of information, exchange of experience and best practice, in order to assist implementation. In this regard the EU has made proposal related to international cooperation for both the Preamble and Article 4, based on Article 4, CRC. The EU is grateful to Mexico, China and Vietnam for their proposals, but is not convinced of the need for a specific article on international cooperation. Having studied those proposals it sees merit in the approach of the Chinese proposal, though has “serious questions” about the language in that proposal. The Vietnam proposal raises important issues, but these are dealt with in other parts of treaty. The Mexican proposal is very detailed but could not serve as a basis for discussions on this topic. It is conceptually unclear, unclear as to the obligations on States Parties, and also creates obligations for non-States Parties such as the UN. The language used in that proposal is more appropriate to a resolution rather than a treaty. The EU stand read to continue discussions on the necessity of including international cooperation and how to include it.

Thailand supported inclusion of the concept of international cooperation. Thailand is grateful for the proposals of Mexico, China and Vietnam, and is willing to discuss how the article can be formulated. It reiterates its proposal from AHC3 for 24 bis (1)(c), that the concept of disability inclusiveness be addressed in any existing or future international cooperation programs and agreements. This will “cause no harm to anyone,” whether it is part of a separate article or addressed within Article 4 on general obligations. Thailand is supportive of the sharing of knowledge and information, a practice it supports at both international and regional levels.

New Zealand agreed international cooperation is a very important issue, especially in this context, and is open to some mention of it. The Mexican proposal is too detailed, with language more appropriate to a resolution addressing implementation than a legally binding document itself. New Zealand thanks Mexico for its inclusion for a list of sources used in preparation of the proposal, though notes that many are themselves detailed programmatic documents, or treaties that are scientific rather than rights-based documents. New Zealand looks forward to further discussions on this topic and hopes such discussions will occur in a less detailed context. The Chinese proposal is a good basis, as it includes only the most essential and important elements. New Zealand supports China’s inclusion of mainstreaming disability in international development program frameworks. It would prefer further discussion be based on such a succinct concept and provision, rather than a very detailed / resolution-style proposal.

Canada fully supported the remarks of the EU, and to a large extent New Zealand’s comments. International cooperation is a very important principle, but it should not be a condition for implementation. The primary responsibility for implementation rests with States. Canada appreciates the Mexican proposal, but it is too prescriptive and programmatic, though it would be an excellent basis for a resolution on implementation of the treaty. Canada appreciates the streamlined proposals of China and Vietnam, but these also” take the convention away from the principled approach into the realm of programmatic action.” Canada concedes international cooperation will need to be addressed by the treaty, and supports the EU approach of addressing the issue in the Preamble. Any language on the issue should be based on existing human rights instruments, such as Article 4 of CRC, and Articles 22 and 23 of ICESCR. Canada is aware of discussions to include NGOs in any international cooperative framework, and as a core funder of Disabled Peoples’ International is supportive of discussions on such capacity building. Canada also supports suggestions of the EU to include references to information exchange and sharing of best practices.

Norway supported the remarks of the EU, and New Zealand in particular. Norway welcomes the issue of international cooperation in the treaty, as it is an important aspect that should be reflected upon. However, Norway is not yet convinced of the need for a separate article. It could be addressed in other ways, such as in the Preamble as suggested by Canada. Norway is willing to be flexible, but if discussions move towards a separate article, the basis for discussions should be a short and succinct proposal such as that submitted by China. The Mexican proposal is too long, detailed, and prescriptive for a convention.

Cuba identified a number of challenges for developing countries seeking to promote the human rights of PWD, including shortage of resources, poverty, foreign debt, “imposition of neo-liberal policies,” globalization, and a “prevailing unjust world order.” International cooperation is “essential” to “establish a just and democratic international economic environment which would be the only genuine way to move forward to promote and protect the human rights of PWD.” Financial flows towards developing countries should be promoted through compliance with commitments in official development aid. Mexico’s proposal, although lengthy, sufficiently covers the aspects of international cooperation within the framework of this convention. It supports Costa Rica regarding sharing of knowledge and experience “between States” and “between States and” the various organizations in the chapeau. Cuba also supports the Moroccan proposal to address progress and challenges in 24 bis (1)(b). 24 bis (1)(e) should be replaced with (c) from the Chinese proposal, referencing technical and economic assistance for developing countries, including technology transfer. Cuba would like more information regarding the Israeli proposal for 24 bis (1)(f). In (2) of the Mexican proposal, Cuba supports the Israeli proposal to include “including the establishment of bilateral, regional and international research and development funds,” which would assist with technology transfer for developing countries. Cuba also supports the Israeli proposal for (3)(a) of the Mexican proposal, “including partnerships and cooperation agreements between local and municipal authorities,” where national institutions could also be referenced.

Mali supported the proposal of Morocco and the African Group, and thanked Mexico and China for their attempts to give meaning to international cooperation from the standpoint of developing countries. There is much interdependency in the world, and while there is interest in establishing international cooperation between north and south, and east and west, this interest ultimately stems from human dignity, which is an interest of all civilizations.

Philippines stated that international cooperation should be an integral and necessary part of the treaty, and thanked Mexico, China and Vietnam for their proposals. Although national implementation should not be contingent upon international cooperation, it remains a critical aspect of the “equation.” The treaty should not be just an enumeration of rights for PWD, but should also contain a realistic and achievable set of measures for implementation, among which is international cooperation. Inclusion of an article on international cooperation would be a testament to the sincerity of the international community to “uplift the lives of PWD.”

Jamaica reiterated its full support for inclusion of an article on international cooperation. Responsibility lies at the national level but many countries face limitations, and there is a need for partnerships in the international context. In response to the EU, New Zealand and Canada’s comments that there is no precedent for inclusion of this article, in articulating this convention “there are new grounds which should be broken and this should be one such new ground.” Jamaica is flexible and willing to make the article more acceptable to all, but believes 24 bis has a place in the treaty and in realizing the “noble objectives” of the convention. It supports Costa Rica’s proposal that the chapeau reference “among States,” as bilateral cooperation is also envisaged. Jamaica supports Canada’s position that organizations of PWD should be included in international cooperation programs. In 24 bis (3)(c), it supports the Chilean proposal to add “for persons with disabilities” after “supporting capacity building.”

Vietnam stated that international cooperation is an important principle for implementation of the convention. It agrees with Thailand and the EU on the need to share experiences and best practices related to implementation. It supports the proposals of Mexica, China and others, and hopes that discussions will produce the best article on international cooperation for the treaty.

United States while reserving on some points [not specified], it endorsed “in principle” the interventions of the EU, New Zealand, Canada and Norway.

Mexico expressed thanks for the support and comments on its draft article. Mexico’s intention was to provide a common understanding of what international cooperation would mean in the framework of this convention, “and avoid misunderstandings and confusion.” A general or limited reference to international cooperation, as is found in other human rights treaties, would not make clear what States and other actors should do in relation to this treaty. International cooperation must be a complement to national efforts, and implementation of the treaty should not be contingent upon the level of international cooperation. It should be viewed in a broad context, and include exchange of information and best practices, scientific research, training, awareness, cooperation among disabled people’s organizations, development of technologies, and not simply a transfer of resources or economic assistance. It should be provided at bilateral and regional levels, as well as in multi-lateral fora, including specialized agencies and financial institutions. The nature of this treaty opens the way to providing innovative means for international cooperation involving different actors, so that it meets the specific needs of PWD. This has been done already in the frameworks of other international instruments, involving various organizations and bodies. Mexico is prepared to work constructively to reflect all of the concerns and observations made, to reach an agreeable article.

Serbia and Montenegro thanked delegations that had submitted proposals and explanations, including China and Vietnam, and especially Mexico. Serbia and Montenegro associates itself with statements of the EU, New Zealand, Canada, Norway and the United States. It reiterates its position that international cooperation is significant, and feels that Article 2 bis could provide a good approach, and could be placed in Article 4. However, if others agree on a more detailed text Serbia and Montenegro is prepared to go along, but prefers to keep any article as short as possible.

Colombia joined in support of inclusion of this article, and thanked Mexico for introducing it. International cooperation means active participation of States and civil society towards a common objective. It is not merely assistance or aid, nor should it be seen as a condition overtaking national responsibilities.

Trinidad and Tobago supported Mexico’s initiative to include a separate and specific article on international cooperation, which “raises international cooperation to the normative level.” Mexico’s proposal is comprehensive, clearly establishes the duty of states to cooperate with each other, and envisages an important role for international and regional organizations, as well as civil society and the private sector. International cooperation relates not only to financial flows, but also other areas of cooperation which can help in bringing about full implementation of national level obligations that States freely assume to assist PWD. Inclusion of such a provision in a multi-lateral treaty of this nature is essential. For the text of the article, it may be necessary to place the paragraph proposed by Argentina for Article 4 in another part of convention.

Malaysia joined in thanking Mexico, China and Vietnam for their efforts in introducing 24 bis. An article on international cooperation has a legitimate place in this convention, as it has been proven that no one country, particularly a developing country is able to realize the right to development of its population without support from the international community. Malaysia supports Morocco’s proposal and looks forward to discussing the text in further detail.

El Salvador noted that it struggles to achieve development on a daily basis, and agrees that international cooperation must be included. It thanks countries’ proposals and supports Mexico’s statement. As Colombia noted, international cooperation is not a way of “ducking” national responsibilities, but a means of strengthening and supplementing national efforts. Since the work is national and international in nature, El Salvador supports the detailed and wide-ranging proposal submitted by Mexico.

Venezuela supported the Mexican proposal. Other delegations have solely looked at economic issues, but this goes further. PWD need technical knowledge and assistance. We need “true assistance relating to everything that will help us join in society.”

Lebanon reiterated it position that there is a need for the treaty to reflect a spirit of cooperation, solidarity and interdependence among states. There must be balance between the detailed text of the Mexican proposal and the two brief proposals of Vietnam and China. International cooperation must contain exchange of workshops, training, and incorporation of disability in bilateral and multilateral agreements between states and between states and intergovernmental organizations.

Uruguay joined previous speakers in support of international cooperation. Uruguay considers it of paramount importance to achieve the aims of the convention.

Tanzania thanked Mexico for its introduction of the article, and joined others in supporting inclusion of such an article. International cooperation is an aspect that will go far in assisting implementation of the convention.

The Chair then opened the floor to non-governmental organizations.

The Disability Caucus noted that PWD are the most marginalized in social and economic development and realization of their human rights. Poverty is both a cause and consequence of disability, and this can only be changed when States provide equal opportunities to PWD. International cooperation in all of its forms can and must play an important role in creating conditions which will best support an improved quality of life for PWD. In human rights international cooperation is referenced as a tool to promote compliance in Articles 22,23, and 14 of ICESCR, and Article 4 of CRC. It must be taken up within the context of human rights not as a tool that makes it possible to avoid compliance, but rather as a facilitator to ensure that obligations are abided by. The Caucus has proposed draft language available at:

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