FYI: UN Media advisory: Disability treaty set to correct injustices opens forsignature, 30 March

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From: Edoardo Bellando [] 
Sent: Wednesday, 14 March 2007 12:17 AM
Subject: Media advisory: Disability treaty set to correct injustices
opens forsignature, 30 March


United Nations 

Disability treaty set to correct injustices opens for signature

United Nations, 13 March - A new human rights treaty that would protect
the rights of the world's 650 million persons with disabilities will be
opened for signature at the United Nations on 30 March. 

Over 40 countries have already indicated they will sign the Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities when it opens for signature
and ratification by States and regional integration organizations at a
solemn ceremony in the UN General Assembly hall. Many more are expected
to announce their intention in the coming weeks leading up to the
signing event. 

The event takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the General
Assembly. General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa will
chair the ceremony, which will feature among the speakers UN
Deputy-Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights Louise Arbour and a spokesperson for the International
Disability Caucus. UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel will open the
convention for signature. 

A High-Level Dialogue on implementing the Convention follows starting at
3:00 pm and includes speakers and panelists covering both political and
substantive issues. 

At its core, the convention ensures that persons with disabilities enjoy
the same human rights as everyone else, and are able to lead their lives
as fully-fledged citizens who can make valuable contributions to society
if given the same opportunities. It covers rights such as equality,
non-discrimination and equal recognition before the law; liberty and
security of the person; accessibility, personal mobility and independent
living; right to health, work and education; and participation in
political and cultural life.  The treaty will enter into force when
ratified by 20 countries.   

Disability organizations from around the world are expected to attend
the ceremony. It was the disability community that came together at the
global level to fight for a specific treaty that would recognize their
rights. The disability community quickly organized itself into the
International Disability Caucus - a coalition of 70 international,
regional and national organizations. Countries and the disability
community worked together at the UN to create a treaty that ensures that
persons with disabilities finally enjoy all the rights and
responsibilities that others in society take for granted. 

The convention demands real change through effective legislation and a
shift in attitude. The 45 countries that have enacted some legislation
in this area have already demonstrated that change in the area of rights
for persons with disabilities takes place far more rapidly when there
are laws. 

The convention says implementation will be progressive, and does not
call on budget-strapped governments to pay for things they cannot
afford. But it sets out minimum measures to respect basic human dignity,
as well as longer-term goals to achieve full integration. 

Also opening for signature is an 18-article Optional Protocol on
Communications, which will allow petitioning by individuals and groups
to a committee of experts once all national recourse procedures had been

For information, please visit please visit or contact Edoardo Bellando, Tel.
(212) 963-8275, e-mail:, or Daniel Shepard, Tel. (212)
963-9495, e-mail: 

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Received on Tuesday, 13 March 2007 21:51:56 UTC