Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The afternoon session of the “Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” was a continuation of the debate commenced in the morning, convened in order to hear comments from member states, as well as relevant NGOs, and IGOs. Nations such as India, Japan, and Jordan expressed their support through a multitude of ways; many countries have established disability acts which provide the disabled with accommodations in the work place or in school. Specifically, initiatives have been undertaken to educate these individuals on how to reach their full potential despite their disability, and funding has been provided for tools to help them (i.e cochlear implants, books in braille). Despite the progress underscored by the participants, many also sought to emphasize the necessity of future progress, including the enactment of more comprehensive policies regarding persons with disabilities.  The great potential to be unlocked by expanded employment of PWDs as well as technologies to facilitate communal, rather than institutional care, were discussed by the Representatives of the United Kingdom and Hungary, respectively. These disability acts also push for the inclusion of disabled people in the workplace and in schools instead of isolating them from society. It was emphasized how deaf children in several countries  often don’t have the opportunity to learn their region’s sign language until five years of age or older, thus putting them behind their fellow peers. It is essential that this circumstance be put to an end, and it should be encouraged to provide help for those who need help, no matter what condition they’re in, or what disability they have.

Meeting: General Debate of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Date/Location: Tuesday, June 10, 2019; 15:00-18:00; Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers:

  • H.E. Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr, Permanent Representative of Liberia and Vice President of the Conference;
  • Representative of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Albania;
  • H.E. Ms.Cynthia Morrison, Minister of Gender Children and Social Protection of Ghana;
  • Distinguished Representative of the World Federation of the Deaf;
    His Royal Highness, Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein, President of the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Chair of Delegation of Jordan;
  • Representative of the Government Minister Department for Work and Pensions of the United Kingdom;
    First Deputy Minister of Ukraine;
  • Mr. Richard Dimech, Chief of Staff of the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights, and Social Solidarity of Malta;
  • H.E. Mr. Riyad Mansour Permanent Representative of the State of Palestine to the United Nations;
  • Mrs. Racardia Dennis, Executive Director of the National Commission on Disabilities of the Republic of Liberia;
  • H.E. Ms. Katalin Annamaria Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations;
  • Distinguished Representative of the Christian Blind Mission;
  • Mr. Avremi Torem, Commissioner of the Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Chair of the Delegation of Israel;
  • Coordinator for Social Affairs Ministry of Social Affairs, Justice, and Interior of the Principality of Andorra;
  • H.E. Mr.Finian McGrath, Minister of State for Disability Issues for Ireland;
  • H.E. Mr. Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations;
  • President of China Disabled Persons’ Federation;
  • Director of the National Service of People with Disabilities of Chile;
  • Director of the National Program of Disability and Chair of the Delegation of Uruguay;
  • Director of the Social Affairs and Inclusion Department of the European Commission, Chair of Delegation of the European Union;
  • Distinguished Representative of Disabled Peoples International;
  • Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau for the Equality of People with Disabilities, Switzerland;
  • Minister at the Permanent Mission of Nigeria;
  • Representative of India

Written by:WIT Interns Izabela Zawartka, Ikonii Chiabi, and Jenifer Miller

Civil Society Perspectives on the Post 2015 Development Agenda

Unknown-5Today, various civil society groups came together to discuss the post 2015 development agenda, and to give their input on what should be included in the sustainable development goals (SDGs). All of the NGOs present agreed the agenda must be universal, and prioritized addressing inequality as one of the biggest concerns the SDGs should tackle.

The first half of the meeting addressed policy coherence in the post 2015 development agenda, and called for coordinated efforts in the public and private sectors to build sustainable partnerships for development. The Rio +20 Conference was also referenced, and a focus was given to how at the conference an agreement was made to establish the SDGs and address resource mobilization for sustainability. In order to have effective goals, they must be universal, measurable, and integrate all aspects of sustainable development including economic, social, and environmental. The NGOs present called for a holistic approach to the SDGs, stressed sustainable consumption and production patterns, and agreed on the need for an accountability framework.

The second half of the meeting focused on equality, employment, and decent work for all. Eliminating extreme poverty has to start with eliminating inequalities, and a key way to do that is to provide employment and decent work for all people regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, age, etc. There was a focus on eliminating gender inequality, and persistent inequality between rural and urban areas. In order for there to be fair employment and decent work for all, these inequalities must be addressed. The NGOs called for SDGs that focus on fair employment and addressing inequalities. They also called for the need to create an enabling environment for cooperatives and small businesses in order for the local economy to thrive. The meeting concluded with a question and answer session from the audience.

 

Meeting Title: Event entitled “Civil society perspectives on the Post-2015 agenda” (organized by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Delegation of the European Union)
Speakers: Timo Makela, Director of International Affairs, LIFE & Eco-Innovation, DG Environment, European Commission; Evelyne Pichenot, French Economic and Social and Environmental Council, EESC Member; Jonas Keding Lindholm, Save the Children; An Le Nouail Marliere, General Confederation of Labour, EESC Member; Constanza Martinez, Deputy Head of IUCN Global Policy Unit, Dominic White, WWF; Sascha Gabizon, Women International for a Common Future; Helen Dennis, Senior Advisor for Christian Aid on Poverty & Inequality
Date: 19 June 2014
Location: NLB Conference Room 5, United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan