6th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD

July 30, 2013
Source: UN Enable

The sixth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COP) was held from 17 to 19 July 2013 under the theme “Ensuring adequate standards of living: empowerment and participation of persons with disabilities within the framework of the CRPD.”

The Conference is a unique global mechanism that allows for exchange of experience, ideas and best practices for implementation of the Convention, as well as for the building of multi-stakeholder partnerships for practical action. The Conference serves as a catalyst to realize the human rights and development of persons with disabilities, as well as to advance a disability-inclusive society for all.

While the number of States Parties to the Convention continues to grow, other stakeholders, including organizations of persons with disabilities, are increasingly becoming important partners in the implementation of the Convention, particularly in the common endeavor toward an international disability-inclusive development framework.
More than 650 participants attended this session with almost 300 representatives from civil society organizations.  A record number of 75 statements were delivered during the general debate, including 12 statements at the Ministerial level. A total of 26 side-events were organized, including the multi-stakeholder Civil Society CRPD Forum, coordinated by the International Disability Alliance with the support of Disabled People’s International (DPI), Disability Rights Fund (DRF), the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD), Human Rights Watch (HRW), the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and Rehabilitation International (RI), co-sponsored by the Governments of Australia, Bulgaria, Mexico and New Zealand, and DESA.

With a view to enabling the broadest possible participation, the live webcast from the Conference, for the first time, included sign language interpretation and closed-captioning.

During the course of the two formal and one informal roundtable discussions, participants set out concrete ideas to improve and implement policies and programmes concerning social protection and poverty reduction; disability-inclusive development in national, regional and international processes; as well as community-based rehabilitation.

The last segment on the implementation of the Convention by the UN system included presentations by OHCHR, UNISDR, UNICEF, UNDP, UNWTO, World Bank and DESA. DESA also reported on the progress of the Inter-Departmental Task Force on Accessibility of the United Nations Secretariat and made an announcement concerning on-going work to establish an Accessibility Centre at UN Headquarters.  The Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Special Rapporteur on Disability of the Commission for Social Development also reported on their respective mandates.

In his closing statement, the President of the Conference H.E. Ambassador Macharia Kamau, stated that the Conference was best positioned to spearhead the mainstreaming of disability in all aspects of the work of the United Nations. He also proposed that the Conference consider strengthening its financial and institutional foundation to carry out its important work.

The outcome of the Conference will be documented in a post-sessional report, which will be issued shortly. (www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1606)