Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Report of meeting of experts of the Group of States Friends of the CRPD (July 9th 2009)

The meeting was attended by experts from the Permanent Missions to the UN from Mexico ,New Zealand ,Thailand ,Australia , Bosnia and Herzegovina ,Slovenia ,Spain ,Turkey ,China ,Ukraine andSweden (the country leading the EU work on disability inGeneva ).

A few others excused themselves, but indicated their commitment: Morocco , South Africa , Chile , Jordan , Philippines , India and Ecuador.

This shows an increase in interest among countries as Slovenia , Spain , Australia , China and Sweden had not attended the launch meeting of the Group at ambassador level.

Silvia Lavagnoli (OHCHR) and I on behalf of IDA (CRPD Forum) also attended the meeting.

After a general presentation on the objectives of the Group and a short explanation of the support to be provided by IDA (CRPD Forum), there was general agreement on the issue of sharing the work to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities (in line with CRPD) in the work of the Human Rights Council. Apart from 2-3 general meetings during the year, it is planned to convene physical meetings a few days prior to each Human Rights Council session, once the agenda is known. These meetings would allow agreeing which experts will take the lead on which issues (resolutions, interactive dialogues, etc..) and IDA (CRPD Forum) would help by preparing suggestions for action and be available upon request to ensure that the references to persons with disabilities are the adequate ones.

I also informed about the forthcoming monthly disability rights bulletin, which would provide updated information on disability references in human rights treaty bodies, Universal Periodic Reviews and reports by special procedures.

Silvia (OHCHR) informed that their call for contributions to their thematic study on article 33 (and article 16, paragraph 2) would be launched on that same day or on the next day. Deadline for contributions would be September 1st (with a likely extension of another 15 days like last year). She also reminded experts that the second session of the CRPD Committee would include a day of general discussion on article 12 which would most likely take place on Wednesday October 20th.

Forthcoming meetings were discussed:

The Thailand delegate referred to the work on victim assistance within the Mine Ban Treaty, which is currently co-chaired by Thailand and which is increasingly connecting with CRPD.

I informed about the initiative to have an UNHCR Executive Committee conclusion on persons with disabilities in situations of displacement to be adopted in 2010. Most of the countries present are on the Executive Committee of the UNHCR (composed by 78 States) and I especially referred to Australia, as the current Australian ambassador is the Vicechair of the Executive Committee and will become Chair next year (in fact the new Australian ambassador).

It was agreed that the next meeting would be held in the week before the next Human Rights Council which will start on September 14th.

Report from : Stefan Tromel (IDA CRPD Forum)

By: Stefan Tromel (IDA CRPD Forum)
When: 7/2/2014

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