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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Report of the Working Group to the Ad Hoc Committee

Annex I: Draft articles for a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

Annex II: Summary of the discussions held regarding the issue of international cooperation to be considered by the Ad Hoc Committee.

Annex II
Summary of the discussions held regarding
the issue of international cooperation
to be considered by the Ad Hoc Committee

1. The Working Group held a discussion regarding the role of international cooperation in the light of an international convention for persons with disabilities.

2. It was recognized that the implementation of the Convention will be primarily a national responsibility. There was agreement that national compliance with the provisions of the Convention should not be conditional on receiving international development aid or assistance.

3. In that regard, several members of the Working Group expressed the view that international cooperation should be considered as an important means to support national efforts for the realization of the goals and objectives of the Convention and facilitate its implementation. In that context, a spirit of international cooperation, solidarity and partnership among States should be reflected in the Convention.

4. Several members of the Working Group considered that international cooperation should be analysed in a broad sense, to include elements such as the exchange of information and best practices, scientific research, training, awareness-raising, cooperation between organizations of persons with disabilities, the development of technology, and capacity-building; not interpreting international cooperation as the transfer of economic resources, economic aid or assistance. International cooperation should also be carried out in bilateral, regional and other multilateral forums, including through specialized agencies and financial institutions.

5. Some members expressed particular concern about creating international obligations with regard to international cooperation, development aid or assistance in the context of a binding instrument, although they actively engaged in international cooperation. Other members considered that the issue should not be interpreted as imposing obligations beyond any other existing model of international cooperation.

6. Some members of the Working Group recognized the challenge for the new century to incorporate the disability dimension in the mainstream of international cooperation activities and agreements, in order to contribute to the elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities. In that regard, while recognizing that the major responsibility lay with the recipient countries, some delegations were of the view that both donor and recipient countries shared the responsibility for determining how development resources were allocated. Other members did not agree with that statement.

7. Subject to the provisions agreed for the content of the International Convention during the negotiations that will take place, the Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider the issue of international cooperation, taking into account the various views and specific texts of proposals that have been presented as contributions to its work.

8. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to take into account existing provisions on international cooperation in other international documents and treaties, such as:

  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (articles 2(3), 22 and 23);
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (preamble and article 4);
  • The Standard Rules (rule 22);
  • General Comment No. 5 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
  • Environmental treaties; the Convention against Corruption; and the Ottawa Convention on prohibition of landmines, among others.

9. In terms of placement, the following options were considered:

In the preamble;
Among the General Principles;
In the General Obligations;
As a separate article;
As a separate article, along with a provision either in the General Obligations, in the preamble or
In the General Principles.

10. Some members suggested that the issue could be included in the purposes of the Convention; others rejected that idea.

11. Some members considered that the issue should not be dealt with or included in the Convention. One expressed the view that the matter of international cooperation should be considered in the General Assembly.

12. The Working Group agreed that the phrasing of any provision regarding international cooperation should be careful and balanced in order to avoid misunderstandings with regard to the views mentioned above, and to clarify the scope of international cooperation in the context of this Convention.

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United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development