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COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Informative note on the participation of stakeholders in the fourteenth session (17 August- 4 September, 2015) and fourth Pre-sessional Working Group (7-11 September, 2015)

(The information below applies to the participation of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and Civil Society Organizations. Particular modalities for the participation of National Human Rights Institutions and independent monitoring mechanisms in the work of the Committee are further spelled out at the bottom of this note)

I. Participation in the consideration of initial reports at the 14th session

1.When and where will the 14th session take place?

From 17 August, 10.00 p.m. to 4 september, 2015, at the Ground Floor Conference Room, Palais Wilson, in Geneva, Switzerland.

2. Which countries will be considered during the session?

The initial reports of the following countries will be considered: Brazil, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Qatar, Ukraine and the European Union

3. When will these countries be considered?

Kenya: Tuesday 18 (10h00 to1h00) and Wednesday19 August (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Ukraine: Wednesday19 March (3- 6 p.m.) and Thursday20 August (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Gabon: Thursday 20 August (3- 6 p.m.), and Friday 21 August (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Mauritius: Monday 24 August (3-6 p.m.), and Tuesday 25 August (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Brazil: Tuesday 25 August (3-6 p.m.), and Wednesday 26 August (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Qatar: Wednesday 26 August (3-6 p.m.), and Thursday 27 August (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)
European Union:  Thursday 27 August (3-6 p.m.), and Friday 28 August (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

The Committee will adopt lists of issues in private meetings. For information on how to contribute to the adoption of the lists of issues please check the information below under the heading “Adoption of list of issues during the 14th session”.

4. Is it possible to attend the meetings when these countries will be considered?

Yes, the meetings are open to the public, attendees from organizations of persons with disabilities and civil society organizations may observe the dialogues between the delegations of these States parties and the Committee, but they cannot make statements or raise questions from the floor.

5. If I am not present in Geneva, is it possible to follow the meeting by webcasting?

Yes, webcasting is provided to the Committee’s meetings by the International Disability Alliance. Live webcasting is available at the following web link: http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/

(a) Accreditation

6. When can I request to be accredited for the 13th session?

The accreditation period begins on 27 July 2015 and ends on 10 August 2015.

7. Will I receive an acknowledgement of receipt of my request for accreditation?  Will I obtain confirmation of my accreditation?

No, the Secretariat does not acknowledge receipt of accreditation requests; however, it confirms accreditation of applicants within at least 7 working days.  Please wait for the expiration of 7 working days before making any further inquiry.

8. What happens if I am late in requesting my accreditation?

Due to the large number of requests received by the Secretariat, it is not possible to ensure processing of requests received after the deadline.

9. If I require a visa to enter Switzerland, will the United Nations facilitate visa procedures? Can I get an invitation letter in order to initiate visa procedures in my country?

No, the United Nations is not in a position to facilitate visa procedures or issuing invitation letters.

10. How can I get accredited?

Please fill in the form below and send it back to the following email address: aquist@ohchr.org, copying rouko@ohchr.org

(b) Written submissions

11. When is the deadline to make a written submission?

31 July 2015. 

12. Will I receive an acknowledgment of receipt of my submission?

The Secretariat does not acknowledge receipt of submissions; however, it posts all written submissions on its webpage within at least 7 working days (unless submissions are identified as confidential).  Please wait for the expiration of 7 working days before making any further inquiry.

13. What happens if I submit information after the deadline?

The Secretariat cannot ensure the processing of submissions received after the deadline.

14. How can I make a submission?

Please send an email, attaching the submission, to the following email address: jaraya@ohchr.org

Please indicate in the subject of the email: “submission” and the “name of the country” (e.g. “Submission Kenya”)

15. Is there a page limit?

Yes, the Committee recommends concrete and concise documents, and suggests that their length be limited as follows: A maximum of 10,700 words in the case of alternative reports; a maximum of 5,350 words for other submissions.

16. Is there a template for written submissions?

The Committee strongly recommends that written submissions have the following structure: 

(a) Self-introduction of the submitting organization, and in the case  of DPOs and CSOs, brief description of its activities at the international and/or national level, their mission/vision statement and what role persons with disabilities play in the organization, and level of inclusiveness and participation of persons with disabilities in the drafting of the submission;

(b) Executive summary, no longer than one page; 

(c) Make reference to specific articles of the Convention addressed in the submission; and

(d) Propose recommendations. Please note that requirements (a) and (b) in this section are not considered within the length limits recommended above.

17. Shall I submit my written contribution in any particular format?

Yes, the written submissions should be provided in accessible digital or electronic formats, for example, word or text formats. Please avoid PDF formats.

18. Do I need to submit hard copies?

No, hardcopies are not necessary since the Committee has fully adhered to the United Nations greening policy.

19. Can I make corrections or amendments to an already submitted document?

The submitting organizations are encouraged to send the final versions of their submissions. Due to the large volume of submissions received, once the document has been posted on the Committee’s webpage, no further corrections or amendments will be processed.

(c)Briefings on country situations by representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities and civil society organizations

20. Are there briefings on country situations scheduled to take place during the session?

Yes, during the official meeting time the following time slots have been allocated to briefings on country situations
Tuesday 18 august, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Briefing on Kenya (closed)
Tuesday 18 August, 11 a.m.-12.p.m Briefing on Ukraine (closed)
Tuesday 19 August, 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Briefing on Gabon (closed)
Monday 24 August 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Briefing on Mauritius (closed)
Monday 24 August, 11 a.m.-12.p.m Briefing on Brazil (closed)
Monday 24 August, 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Briefing on Qatar (closed)
Thursday 27 August: 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Briefing on the European Union (closed)

21. Where will the briefings take place?

In the Ground Conference Room of Palais Wilson, Geneva.

22. If I plan to participate in the briefing, is there a deadline to request it?

Yes, you need to submit a request prior to 31 July 2015.

23. What do I need to indicate in my request?

Representatives of organizations of persons with disabilities and civil society organizations applying for a briefing meeting, shall submit a request specifying: (a) The name of the organization: coalitions are encouraged to make a brief description of their comprising organizations, their mission/vision statement and what role persons with disabilities play in the organization; (b) the title of the briefing event; (c) Brief description of the topics that will be addressed during the country specific briefing. (e) Name and function of the speaker(s).

24. Shall my organization make accessibility arrangements?

The United Nations provide international sign language interpretation and captioning in English only during official meeting hours (10 to 1, and 3 to 6).  For briefings held during non-official meeting time, applicant organizations shall indicate if they will provide any additional accessibility service such as national sign language interpretation, Braille documentation, easy-to-read text and/or other accessibility tools.

25. Shall I provide an electronic version of my statement?

Yes, speakers are requested to submit statements of their interventions to the Secretariat prior to the briefing.

26. How much time will be allocated to my oral presentation?

Organizations willing to make oral statements are encouraged to coordinate themselves the use of meeting time and the allocation of time slots amongst themselves. If such coordination is not feasible, the Committee Secretariat will allocate time slots after consultation with the Chair of the Committee.  Speakers are encouraged to make short statements to allow for time for the experts of the Committee to raise questions. Since democracy is a basic principle of the Committee, time will be distributed among all applicant organizations present. The priority will be given to those applicant organizations that have also submitted written information (see part b). The order of interventions will be: country-based disabled persons’ organizations, national coalitions, international disabled persons ‘organizations and other civil society organizations.

(d) Thematic Briefings

27. Is it possible to organize a thematic briefing?

Yes, the above-mentioned information in part (c) is also applicable to thematic briefings. Thematic briefings will take place during non-official meeting time.

(e) List of issues to be adopted during the 14th session (17 August -4 September 2014)

28. For which countries will the Committee adopt List of issues during the forthcoming 14th session?

The Committee plans to adopt list of issues regarding the initial report of Portugal

29. Is it possible to attend the meeting when the List of issues will be adopted?

No, the adoption takes place in a private meeting.

30. Is it possible to make written contributions regarding the List of issues to be adopted, and would there be a deadline to do that?
Yes, regarding the deadline, content and other requirements please take into account the information referred to in part (b) above.

31. Is there an opportunity to participate in the briefing related to the European Union?

Yes, a briefing has been initially scheduled on Monday 17 August from 1:45 to 2:45
Please refer to the above-mentioned information (part c) about deadlines, accreditation and other requirements related to briefings.

II List of issues to be adopted during the 4rd Pre-sessional Working Group (7-11 September 2015)

32. For which countries does the Committee plan to adopt List of issues in the forthcoming 4rd PSWG?

The Committee plans to adopt list of issues regarding the initial reports of Chile, Jordan. Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Thailand

33. Is it possible to attend the meetings during which the List of issues will be adopted?

No, the adoption takes place in private meetings

34. Is it possible to make written contributions, and is there a deadline to do that?

Yes, regarding the deadline, content and other requirements please take into account the above-mentioned information in part (b).

35. Is there an opportunity to participate in country briefings related to these countries?

Yes, country briefings have been initially scheduled as follows:

  • Monday 7 September, 10 a.m.-11.30 am,  on Chile (closed)
  • Monday 7 September, 11.30 a.m.-1 p.m.  on Serbia (closed)
  • Tuesday 8 September, 11.30 a.m.-1 p.m.  on Slovakia(closed)
  • Wednesday 9 September, 10 a.m.-11.30 am,  on Lithuania (closed)
  • Wednesday 9 September, 11.30 a.m.-1 p.m.  on,  on Jordan (closed)
  • Friday 11 September, 11.30 a.m.- 1.00 p.m.,  on Thailand (closed)

Please refer to the above-mentioned information in part (c) about deadlines, accreditation and other requirements related to briefings.

III. Participation of National Human Rights Institutions and independent monitoring mechanisms in the 14th session and 4rd pre-sessional working group of the Committee

The above-mentioned information about accreditation, written submissions, country briefings and thematic briefings is equally applicable to National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Independent Monitoring Mechanisms (IMMs).

There are three modalities for the participation of NHRIs and IMMs

36. Independent participation during the dialogue with State parties

NHRIs and IMMs can also indicate to the Committee their interest in participating in the dialogue with the States parties in their independent capacity, under one or more of the following modalities:

(1) by making an opening statement (up to 5 minutes)
(2) by answering questions posed by experts of the Committee;
(3) by making closing remarks (up to 2 minutes).

Requests in this regard should be addressed to the Secretary of the Committee (jaraya@ohchr.org) at least one month in advance of the beginning of the session (no later than 31 July 2015). Space in the room and a flag are specifically reserved for NHRIs and IMMs

37. Bilateral private briefings with country-rapporteurs and other experts of the Committee

NHRIs and IMMS interested in participating in these private briefings should contact the Secretary of the Committee (jaraya@ohchr.org) no later than 31 July 2015.

38. Participation of NHRIs and IMMs in the briefings in which DPOs and CSOs participate

NHRIs and IMMs can also participate in these briefings, please see above Nos 32 to 35.

39. ICC Geneva Office

For further information about how NHRIs can participate in the reporting process, NHRIs may whish to contact the ICC Geneva Representative, Katharina Rose at k.rose.icc@gmail.com

In particular, upon request and on behalf of the NHRI, the ICC Geneva Representative may deliver a statement or otherwise information to the Committee in case the NHRI is not represented in Geneva.

Country-specific information