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Task Force on Secretariat services, accessibility and use of information technology

1. Mandate of the Task Force

The Task Force was established in July 2011 pursuant to paragraph 61 of resolution 16/21. It is mandated to study the issues contained in paragraphs 57-60 of the resolution, related to the improvement of the secretariat services to the Council and its mechanisms, the accessibility to the Council’s work for persons with disabilities and the feasibility of the use of information technology, and to present concrete recommendations thereon to the 19th session of the Council. See Council decision 19/119, and report of the task force contained in the annex.

At the 21st session of the Council in September 2012, a progress report informing about the status of implementation of all Task Force recommendations was presented to the Council, see document A/HRC/21/CRP.1.

2. Composition of the Task Force

The Task Force is composed of the Bureau of the Human Rights Council and representatives of OHCHR and UNOG. Representatives of Member States and other stakeholders have also contributed to the work of the Task Force.

3. Methods of work

On the issue of enhancing accessibility for persons with disabilities, the Task Force has held several meetings on how to enhance accessibility in terms of physical access to meeting rooms, as well as access to information and documentation.

During the 22nd session of the Council in March 2013, additional measures were implemented to enhance accessibility for persons with disabilities to the Human Rights Council, such as improved signage to access room XX and accessible toilets as well as setting up a priority lane for persons with disabilities at the Pregny gate. In addition, English captioning and sign language interpretation in international sign were provided for two panel discussions, i.e. the High-Level panel discussion to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action held on Monday, 25 February 2013 and the annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities held on Wednesday, 6 March 2013.

Representatives of Member States and all relevant stakeholders are encouraged to interact with the Task Force and to provide feedback and comments on the measures taken so far, through the survey in word, or though the web-based application survey monkey before Friday 31 May 2013.

For any queries, you may contact us, preferably by email:



Human Rights Council Task Force on accessibility,
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
United Nations Office at Geneva,
CH-1211, Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 90 11

4. Documents