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AUSTRALIAN APPOINTED INAUGURAL RAPPORTEUR TO THE UNITED NATIONS DISABILITIES CONVENTION

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith today welcomed the appointment of Professor Ron McCallum AO as Rapporteur to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

As Rapporteur, Professor McCallum will be responsible for reporting to the UN General Assembly on the recommendations and activities of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

I congratulate Professor McCallum on being elected by his fellow committee members to this significant position to which I am sure he will make an important and effective contribution, Mr McClelland said.

Mr McClelland said that Professor McCallums election complements the Governments commitment to upholding and safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities and to ensuring that they are treated equitably.

Foreign Minister Smith said that our strong support for Professor McCallum is another demonstration of Australias regional and international leadership on advancing the rights of people with disabilities and their families.

Australia was among the first Western countries to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol in July 2008.

Australias first explicitly disability-inclusive development strategy, Development for All, will play a key role in reducing poverty and hastening progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, including for persons with disabilities Mr Smith said.

Professor McCallum is a leading Australian law academic and was elected as Australias representative to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in November last year.

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